SSN Commentary

This Inflammatory Ad Reveals Why Republican Women of Color Have a Hard Time Getting Elected

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Western Washington University

Originally published as: Catherine Wineinger, "This Inflammatory Ad Reveals Why Republican Women of Color Have a Hard Time Getting Elected," The Washington Post, October 4, 2019.

During the September 13 Democratic debate, ABC aired a 30-second ad that showed a burning picture of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, equating her policies to those of the Khmer Rouge. The ad features Elizabeth Heng, a Cambodian-American woman and former Republican congressional candidate who lost her 2018 race against incumbent Rep. Jim Costa of California.

"Mine is a face of freedom," Heng says in the ad, contrasting herself to Ocasio-Cortez, "My skin is not white. I'm not outrageous, racist, nor socialist. I'm a Republican."