I-Team: State Senate Campaign Gets Nasty - 8 News NOW

Investigative Reporter Jonathan Humbert and Photojournalist Alex Brauer

I-Team: State Senate Campaign Gets Nasty

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LAS VEGAS -- There is a bitter race for a Nevada State Senate seat. Personal finances and relationships have become the focus of waves of attack ads in District 9, near Southern Highlands.

When two political newcomers square off, there isn't much of a record to attack. Instead, they attack each other and their families.

Attacks from both sides are part of the reason Democrat Benny Yerushalmi wanted to get involved.

"I just hit a point where I was tired of what's happening in this community that I grew up in. The same community my wife grew up in. She was born and raised here," he said.

See the ads

But Yerushalmi and his opponent Elizabeth Halseth don't have a lot of policy to debate. Neither one has been in the legislature. Instead, both have gone personal.

The mid-30's Yerushalmi questioned Halseth's age, she is 28, and said she doesn't have the experience to become Senator.

"You have to have a certain level of experience to do that. Experience in the community," said Yerushalmi.

He also brought up her bankruptcy in Oregon. In mailers, Halseth turned that into a strength, saying she's recovered from hardship like many Nevadans.

Halseth hit back with mailers of her own, attacking Yerushalmi for cozying to the Democratic Party tax increases. But she also used a revealing picture Yerushalmi's wife, Vanessa, right next to the words "not our values."

"They could have easily cut her out and put me on their and said whatever they want about me," he said.

There is no context for the picture or why Halseth used it -- perhaps to paint him as a playboy. Yerushalmi says his now-pregnant wife was upset.

"I do think it was inappropriate to put my wife's picture on a mailer," he said.

From bankruptcy to age to wardrobe, little is off the table anymore.

Several Calls were made to Halseth over the course of two days, but she chose not to be interviewed. Yerushalmi began the negative mailers first, but mailboxes have been flooded more with her contrasting ads lately.

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