After the weeks of a nasty ad war between state Rep. Mark Mustio and businessman D. Raja in the Republican state Senate race, Mustio announced this morning that he will take down the spots emphasizing Mr. Raja's Indian background.
His full release is after the jump, but Mustio says he decided to nuke the TV ads "after thoughtful consideration," adding that "the campaign for this seat has become imbalanced."
Others say there was pressure on Mustio from remove the ads, which for weeks have targeted the positions that Raja's company has in India and later focused on the lawsuits he filed against employees who left their positions earlier than their contracts allowed.
David Taylor of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, who is a Raja supporter, described the ads this morning as "racist and scurrilous," and as making Mustio "unfit for public office."
Taylor said the state Republican Party should oppose the spots (I have a message out to their spokeswoman), and that the message they contain could hurt the party with Indian-American voters.
“I have the highest respect for Raja, both his professional accomplishments and his public service. I know he is dedicated to our region,” he told the website.
In other 37th District news, the daily campaign finance reports since April 9 show another $100,000 donation from Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi to Mustio on April 17 (he already had given him $100,000 in two earlier contributions). Mustio also received two $50,000 donations from "Mark Mustio" and "T. Mark Mustio" on April 17.
UPDATE: Mustio's final ad is above. Under the circumstances, it has a notable final line (emphasis ours): "Vote for conservative Republican Mark Mustio. He's one of us, not a politician."