Smith Pulls TV Ads, Love Says He Will Follow

Senator Harri Anne Smith
Senator Harri Anne Smith

Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- During the primary race Harri Anne Smith's ads were designed to make her likeable, but she came in about 14 percentage points behind the leading candidate.

So, she changed her strategy for the run-off and this time her ads were designed to make her look tough.

Smith says, "The best way to do that is to talk about my record and to talk about my opponent's record."

And that's what she's done. But like her opponent she feels the the ads attacking her record in the legislature are unfair.

"It's distorted. It's misleading." She admits she has voted for tax increases, but she says there were good reasons for them.

"My issue has always been about fairness. Fairness to everybody I serve, " she explains, "And, when he [Jay Love] talked about raising taxes on retailers, that actually refers to the bill this last session in which out of state corporations were not paying taxes while family Alabama companies were."

And she adds the same was true for her vote to increase the cell phone tax. "And since, land lines had a fee and cell phones didn't, then that piece of legislation was another fairness issue..."

And while campaigning one of her former primary race opponents, David Grimes (R), had some good news.

"It means that I like Harri Anne," Grimes says, "Jay's a good friend of mine, but I like Harri Anne a lot...I'm going to vote for Harri Anne I have no doubt."

In fact Smith has received a lot of support from her fellow republican legislators in the State House.

"I'm a little disappointed because those are some of my colleagues..." Love says, but he has received significant support himself, even fund raisers, from the Washington republicans in Congress.

"We're kind of disappointed in the party officials from Washington getting involved," Smith says.

And now that the Smith campaign has decided to change the tone of its campaign, maybe her opponent will go along with that, too.

Love says, "If she were to take down her negative attacks on me then we would take down our ads and just be strictly focused on the positive, but unfortunately when you run a political race you can't just sit back and let somebody beat up on you and distort your record without responding to it."

Both candidates have used hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money to fund their campaigns.

Smith has spent around $400,000 while Love has put out $650,000.

Smith's campaign tells WSFA 12 News they've pulled their ads in Montgomery; at WSFA-TV that goes into effect on Wednesday.

Jay Love's campaign tells us they'll pull their response ads once they have confirmation she has removed her ads from the air.

Reporter: Eileen Jones