Republican Brian Kemp is running for governor in Georgia, and his new campaign ad has viewers flooding local networks with complaints, WXIA-TV reported.
Outrage over the ad, which features Kemp holding a shotgun, prompted WXIA to publish an article detailing why they were legally unable to remove the ad from the air.
"11Alive News has received many complaints on the commercial released last week by the Brian Kemp for Governor campaign. ... The Federal Communications Commission's political broadcast rules actually prohibit television stations from refusing or altering political advertising from any legally qualified candidate," the article stated.
What's in the ad?
The ad features Kemp sitting beside a young man referred to as Jake, who, for the sake of the commercial, is said to be interested in dating Kemp's daughter.
Kemp his holding a shotgun in what could be perceived as a mildly threatening manner, and he has the teenager recite some of Kemp's campaign talking points, as well as listing "respect" and a "healthy appreciation for the Second Amendment" as requirements for dating his daughter.
"We're gon' get along just fine," Kemp says as the commercial ends.
WXIA said it has received feedback from viewers who have called the ad "offensive" and "very inappropriate," and one viewer said "it is the sign of a psychopath and only invites violence against unarmed people and somehow justifies using firearms in a totally unwarranted situation."
"I'm a conservative who believes in the Second Amendment but this commercial makes me want to vote for the other side," one commenter wrote.
Kemp has tried to establish a reputation for himself as a candidate strongly against illegal immigration and crime, and as a vocal advocate for gun owners' rights.
He is one of seven Republican candidates who is campaigning to replace Gov. Nathan Deal. One of his competitors, Nathan Hill, is also making a strong gun rights-based push and has proposed to lower the legal age for all firearm purchases to 18. The primary election is May 22.
Kemp's campaign responded briefly and pointedly to critics of the ad in a statement to WXIA.
"Brian Kemp is a conservative. Get over it. He loves his daughters, values our Second Amendment rights, and will be an unapologetic fighter for our families as Georgia's next governor," a spokesman said.