Opinion: Will Lowden apologize to widow of State Sen. John ‘Jack’ Vergiels?

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SUBMITTED BY NEVADA STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

By Phoebe Sweet

LAS VEGAS–Former colleagues and the widow of State Sen. John “Jack” Vergiels told the Las Vegas Sun this week that they are outraged by Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s tasteless attack on the longtime state legislator and Senate majority leader, who died in December at age 72.

The ad erroneously accused Vergiels of “enriching himself” while taxing Nevadans.

Helena Vergiels, Jack Vergiels’ widow, said she was “outraged” when she saw the commercial Sunday. Lowden “owes me an apology, and owes my husband’s name an apology,” Helena Vergiels told the Sun.

But Robert Uithoven, Lowden’s campaign manager, callously defended the ad. “We were simply telling the truth,” Uithoven said, adding that voters decided Vergiels and other legislators “deserved to be thrown out of office” for a vote to increase their pensions, a vote that they later reversed.

The ad was pulled Monday, after Vergiels’ colleagues expressed their outrage over the distasteful ad.

So now the question to ask Sue Lowden at her event tomorrow–where she’ll call teachers, police and construction workers “pork”–is whether she’ll apologize to Jack Vergiels’ widow.

· Does she stand by the offensive ad, which attacks a longtime public servant just two months after his death?
· Will she run a new ad, and who will this ad attack in poor taste?
· Does Sue Lowden stand by campaign manager Robert Uithoven’s defense of the ad?
· Has Lowden lost support from members of her own party who were offended by the ad, and will she apologize to them as well?

“If Sue Lowden gets her facts wrong and misrepresents Sen. Reid’s record, that’s one thing,” said Phoebe Sweet, communications director for the Nevada State Democratic Party. “But to attack a longtime legislator who served the people of Nevada faithfully for years to score cheap political points is disgusting. Lowden should apologize immediately.”

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