Democrats push issue in 2023 election

The attack ad flooding social media feeds and cable TV in parts of Central Jersey in recent weeks begins with an ominous roll call of former Jim Crow states that are now hotbeds of MAGA extremism.

“Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina. Do we really want the culture wars that are tearing other states apart here in New Jersey?” the narrator intones.

And then it takes aim at its central target, Mike Pappas, an anti-abortion Republican making his second run for the state Senate in the 16th Legislative District. Pappas, the Bridgewater Township administrator, “wants to ban abortion — even in cases of rape and incest — and deny access to birth control,” the ad says.

It’s a hard-hitting ad, aired by Prosperity Rising NJ, an independent political action committee that has raised $500,000 and has set its sights on potential toss-up races around the state this fall.

Michael Pappas

But the same line of attack is also couched in softer tones. Another ad features a medical student, who is also Democratic incumbent state Sen. Andrew Zwicker’s daughter, Louisa.

“‘First, do no harm.’ As a medical student, I’ll be proud to take that oath one day. But with Roe v. Wade overturned, women are being harmed by extreme politicians right now,” she says, while being shown sitting in blue medical scrubs and listening to an instructor.

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