Thomas ad slams gays, immigrants and judgesPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Thomas attacks gays, immigrants and judges in his first TV ad of the campaign.
In the 30-second spot, which started airing today, Thomas touts a record of standing up to the "gay lobby," illegal immigrants and "liberal judges."
"When I enforced the law, illegal immigrants fled the state now they stay and protest," the former Maricopa County Attorney says in the commercial. He is well known for working with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to crack down on illegal immigration.
The ad ends with an image of a prohibition sign over the Mexican national flag and a narrator saying, "Vote for Andy Thomas before it's too late."
"I do think it's racially insensitive because Mexican Americans like myself are a substantial population in this state," said civil rights attorney Stephen Montoya.
The commercial was paid for by the Thomas campaign, which is funded with public money. Last month he qualified for $753,000 from Arizona's Citizens Clean Elections Commission to wage his run for governor.
Some groups are saying the controversial ad is just one reason why the state should get rid of publicly financed elections.
Thomas is one of six Republican candidates running for governor. In 2012 he was disbarred by an ethics panel that ruled he had "dishonored, desecrated and defiled" the public trust.
"Andrew Thomas is a disgraced, disbarred lawyer," Montoya said. "He should make his amends to society and get an honest job, and stop wasting the taxpayers' money."
Thomas was unavailable for an interview in time for this story but told 3TV Political Editor Dennis Welch via social media that he has received a lot of positive feedback about the ad.
Click here to view the ad