This Air Force pilot has one of the best political ads we’ve seen. Ever.

Matt Saintsing
June 22, 2018 - 12:31 pm

Photo Courtesy of MJ Hegar for Texas

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With North Korea, immigrationAfghanistan, and a jacket (for some reason) dominating the headlines as of late, it’s easy to forget that the nation will head to the polls this November for a highly anticipated midterm election. Candidates are looking to raise more cash and get their names out there, and one Air Force veteran is shaking up the political landscape.

Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar, a combat Air Force veteran and Purple Heart recipient who is running to unseat Republican Rep. John Carter in a bright red district in central Texas, released a political ad on Wednesday that is already making waves across the country.

In the now-viral video, she tells the tale of how her HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter was shot down during one of her three deployments to Afghanistan, and how she went on to sue the Pentagon to overturn its ban on women serving in all combat roles.

It’s clear that the three-minute and 28-second political advertisement is meant for the internet, which has been enamored by the motivational video. The idea seems to be to get the most bang for their buck, especially for candidates with limited cash reserves seeking to unseat popular incumbents.

By Thursday, Twitter had her full attention, and the video had probably given Hegar a metric-shit-ton of coverage than she might not have gotten in a race that’s sure to be brutal. And if the video looks a bit familiar, that’s because it was produced by Cayce McCabe of Putnam Partners, the same people who brought us Amy McGrath’s introductory political ad.

Hegar, who has already secured the Democratic nomination for Texas’ 31st Congressional District, will now concentrate her efforts in what is considered quite a difficult race. According to the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index, the district is a R+10, meaning it’s likely to remain Republican.

But President Donald Trump won the district, which includes parts of suburban Austin and Fort Hood, by 13 points in 2016. Before that, Mitt Romney won the district by 22 points. Democrats are hoping that a “Blue Wave” will usher in a majority in the House, and are enlisting the help of veterans to unseat popular incumbents in what will surely be a fierce midterm election.

Will military experience pay off in the Texas 31st? Well, there’s scant evidence that Hegar’s story will resonate with voters. Last November, Public Policy Polling surveyed the district and found Carter with just a six-point lead when voters were given no biographical information about either candidate. But after telling them about Hegar’s military service, the positions were nearly flipped and Hegar led by 2 points.

 

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