Former Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft is up with her first TV ad for the May GOP primary for governor of Kentucky since she inexplicably went dark on Feb. 6, a move that comes after several tough weeks for her campaign. Craft, who trailed Attorney General Daniel Cameron 39-13 in a late January Mason-Dixon poll, aired a spot around that time saying the state’s fentanyl crisis was “personal to me because I've experienced that empty chair at my table.” Craft soon acknowledged that the unnamed person she was alluding to hadn’t actually died, a response that only seemed to make things worse for her.
In early February several protesters, whom LEX 18 characterized as “mostly grieving mothers,” showed up at one of her events with a purple empty chair. Craft, who told the media an empty chair could mean many different things, said days later, “I have a child that’s called to addiction. She’s now an adult.”
The candidate’s new message is devoted to China-bashing, though that doesn’t mean she’s done emphasizing fentanyl in her ads. After the narrator commends Craft for having stood up to China while at the U.N., the spot plays footage of her saying, “This is a real issue with the fentanyl that China is producing.” The narrator jumps back in and says that in office she’ll “launch a full-court press to stop China in its tracks,” though he doesn’t explain how the governor of Kentucky can do this. Craft’s campaign says this commercial is “backed by a six-figure television buy” for the contest to take on Democratic incumbent Andy Beshear.