The Virginia Democratic Party filed a complaint against Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s campaign on Friday, claiming 13 of the campaign’s ads failed disclaimer requirements.
The party accused Youngkin’s campaign of violating Virginia law by not including “an unobscured, full-screen picture containing the candidate, either in photographic form or through the actual appearance of the candidate on camera.”
“These noncompliant advertisements have run thousands of times and have been seen by potentially millions of voters,” the party wrote in the complaint, which The Hill obtained on Friday. “The State Board of Elections should
immediately convene a hearing and fine Mr. Youngkin $130,000 for failing to comply with the law.”
In 2018, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie was fined $2,000 for two television ads after the state board of elections voted to fine him for not following the requirement to give an unobstructed view of the candidate in the ad. A complaint was also filed against Gov. Ralph Northam (D) after the election but was later dismissed.
Youngkin’s campaign told The Hill that out of the 13 ads listed by the state Democratic Party, only two are currently in a rotation. Additionally, the campaign said that the issues of Youngkin’s face in the ads being obscured were based on selective screenshots. The campaign also provided screenshots showing Youngkin’s face in clear view in the ads.
The complaint comes just over two weeks out from Election Day in Virginia where Youngkin will face off against former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Polls show an increasingly tight race between the two candidates with the non-partisan Cook Political Report rating the contest as a “toss-up.”
“Given the increased prospects of Terry McAuliffe losing this election, the Democratic Party of Virginia would benefit if they spent more time trying to get their voters excited about Terry instead of pitching DC process blog stories,” Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter told The Hill.
The Virginia Republican Party filed a complaint against McAuliffe in August in an effort to get him off the ballot, alleging he failed to sign a candidacy declaration form.
McAuliffe’s campaign dismissed the lawsuit as a “desperate Trumpian move” and said the campaign submitted the correct paperwork.