WASHINGTON — In a new ad called “Our Choice,” Democrat Erin Marshall of Frankfort, spoke of the future to an image in the mirror meant to reflect her younger self.

What You Need To Know

  • Democratic challenger Erin Marshall launched her campaign for Congress Wednesday with an ad targeting incumbent Rep. James Comer

  • The ad raises an allegation about abortion Comer has denied

  • Marshall, now 29, had an unexpected pregnancy at age 24

  • She said Kentucky’s abortion ban, triggered by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, inspired her to run 

She called out incumbent Rep. James Comer, R-Tompkinsville, whom she’s opposing in this year’s election for Kentucky's first congressional district.

“You’ll be running against Congressman James Comer and the choices he’s made … he’s an anti-abortion Republican who once took his girlfriend to get an abortion," she said in the ad. 

Comer has long opposed abortion rights and has an A+ rating by the national organization, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. 

During his unsuccessful bid for governor in 2015, he denied a claim from his ex-girlfriend, reported by media outlets that he had taken her to get an abortion.

Marshall said Wednesday that she hasn’t talked to the woman but feels for her.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking that if the same thing happened now, she wouldn’t have that option," Marshall said. 

Marshall, now 29 with a 5-year-old son, learned of the unexpected pregnancy at age 24 and made the choice to start her family, but she would have had no choice at all had she learned of the pregnancy now, she said. 

She made a reference to the pregnancy in the ad and said to the image in the mirror meant to portray her younger self, "I want you to know it will all work out. The people at Planned Parenthood will be incredibly kind. They’ll tell you it’s your choice with no pressure either way. And you’re lucky you’re making this decision when you do have choices."

Kentucky’s abortion ban, triggered by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, inspired Marshall to run against Comer, she said. 

“He's getting a lot of attention right now for the work that he's doing with the impeachment (investigation) of President Biden and the attacks he has on his family, and it's really time to get back to focusing on what matters for Kentuckians and to put aside the political stuff," she said. 

Marshall acknowledged it will be a tough race. In his last three elections, Comer carried between 69 and 75% of the vote.

Latest totals show 48% of voters in his district are registered as Republicans.

“There’s a lot of things to overcome, but one of the really great things about Kentucky voters is that we're not afraid to split a ticket and vote for someone that we know really stands up for our values," she said. "We saw that with Governor Beshear’s reelection.”

Comer spokeswoman Caroline Cash provided the follow statement in response to the ad: 

“It is not shocking that an out-of-touch Democrat, who worked for Hillary Clinton, has recycled false smears and garbage allegations from decades ago against Congressman Comer. Kentucky’s 1st District is Comer Country and voters know and trust Jamie Comer. This desperate attempt for relevance may make her liberal consultants a buck from donors in New York and California, but she will lose in a landslide.”

In response to Cash's statement, Mark Nickolas, campaign manager for Marshall's campaign, provided the following to Spectrum News 1: 

"Congressman Comer's shameful hypocrisy on abortion, and his disrespect for the women of Kentucky, remains on full display as he refuses to answer for his shocking personal history. According to him, abortion should be illegal to all women in all situations, unless they happened to be his girlfriend. We're confident that the voters will make their voices heard in November."