RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The special election for the 74th District seat is this coming Tuesday.
And the political back and forth between Delegate Joe Morrissey and challenger Democrat Kevin Sullivan is heating up over a new ad that puts a spotlight on Morrissey's recent conviction.
NBC12 sat down with the delegate at his law office in Eastern Henrico. He wants the ad taken down and says its misleading.
Kevin Sullivan's campaign put out two ads, one on paper, the other is on the radio. Both feature the father of the 18-year-old woman Morrissey is accused of having a sexual relationship with when she was a minor. Sullivan's campaign say it's the truth.
Part of the radio ad says this: "My name it Coleman Pride. It was my daughter that Joe Morrissey took advantage of. She was only 17 years old. How would you have felt as a parent? It tore our family apart. Joe Morrissey cannot be trusted. Morrissey does not belong in any public office and should not be making any decisions for our family because next time it could be your daughter , or your granddaughter."
"I found Mr. Sullivan's ad to be the height of distaste, it was appalling," said Del. Morrissey. "Particularly since the grandmother of the young lady wrote a letter to Mr. Sullivan telling him to take that ad down and it was misleading."
Delegate Morrissey said this about his campaign. "I've been asked if I would respond to the negative ad, I will not," he said. "Every piece that I have put out has been positive and I'm going to continue that route."
Morrissey said the relationship between the young woman and her father is strained and says documentation discrediting the father's character will come out soon.
Meanwhile Sullivan's campaign spokesperson, Aubrey Sylvester, issued a statement. "Mr. Morrissey is now serving time in jail because he was convicted in a court of law. In taking an Alford plea, Joe Morrissey choose not to fight and admitted the state had sufficient evidence to convict him. His antics today are his latest embarrassing distraction. The ad featuring the father of the young woman is accurate in its entirety and we thank Mr. Pride for having the courage to stand up to Mr. Morrissey's abuse and intimidation tactics."
Morrissey refused to speak about the conviction saying more details will come out in a civil suit he plans to file in 30 days.
We reached out Coleman. He gave this statement: "The facts are the facts. It is unfortunate inmate Morrissey is continuing to further victimize my already torn family. In reference to inmate Morrissey's threat of supposed paperwork he plans to use to defame me. Tell him to be a man of moral substance and release the documents himself."
The grandmother of the woman continues to stick up for delegate Morrissey. A letter to Sullivan's campaign reads in part: "As a grandmother, I am outraged that you would use Mr. Coleman Pride's ad to further your own candidacy. For you to keep company with this man is to accept and condone his egregious sins."
The special election is Tuesday. Matt Walton is the third candidate. He's running as a Republican.
The ads were published, as well as