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Tamar Hallerman

A new slur surfaces in 3rd District GOP congressional race: ‘Liberal’

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Drew Ferguson, left, and Mike Crane, center, will face off in July's runoff for the Republican nomination in Georgia's 3rd Congressional District. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Drew Ferguson, left, and Mike Crane, center, will duke it out in the runoff for the Republican nomination in Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District on July 26. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

The Republican race to replace Lynn Westmoreland in the 3rd congressional district started out kind of slow, but things have started getting spicy lately.

We saw dueling ads this week from former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson and state Sen. Mike Crane alleging that the other does not adequately support law enforcement.

Now we’re seeing a new spot with what could be considered a lethal slur in this deeply conservative district: “Liberal.”

The political arm of the D.C. limited government advocacy group Club for Growth is out with a new attack ad against Ferguson calling the dentist the dreaded L word.

A partial transcript:

“We’ve seen this movie before. Drew Ferguson makes a lot of promises, but he won’t deliver in Washington. Just look at his record. 

As mayor, Ferguson supported millions in new debt. And Ferguson supported higher taxes and fees on Georgia businesses and families.

Millions in debt? Higher taxes? Georgians have a word for insider politicians like Drew Ferguson — liberal.” 

Ferguson spokesman Dan McLagan had this response to the ad:

“It’s hilarious. They are calling a tax-cutting, debt-reducing, pro-gun, pro-life, conservative who wears camo in the woods and Carhartt to church, drives a pickup truck and has a daughter in the Navy a liberal? They can spend as much as they want — ain’t nobody gonna believe it.”

Ferguson’s folks had some spring in their step yesterday. The campaign spotlighted a new poll of more than 800 registered Republicans likely to vote in the race from zpolitics and Clout Research that put Ferguson more than 6 percentage-points ahead of Crane, outside the margin of error.

Ferguson will go head-to-head on July 26. Read our write-up of the race here.