LOUISVILLE -- A well-funded group backing Adam Edelen shook up Kentucky's Democratic gubernatorial primary on Thursday, running a short-lived TV ad denouncing rival Andy Beshear's private legal work for the Boy Scouts of America in a sexual abuse case years ago.
Edelen's campaign repudiated the ad, taking the unusual step of denouncing an ad bashing an opponent days before Tuesday's primary. The ad "crosses the line" and should be taken off the air, his campaign said. The super PAC running the ad soon announced it would oblige.
The ad sparked a fiery exchange between Beshear and Edelen during a debate Thursday night. Beshear slammed it as "one of the most disgusting ads" in Kentucky history and tried to link Edelen to it, noting the super PAC is bankrolled mostly by the mother-in-law of Edelen's running mate. "Elections are an integrity test," Beshear said, adding "one candidate has failed" -- a reference to Edelen.
Edelen shot back by trying to connect Beshear to campaign cash from the manufacturer of the powerful painkiller OxyContin.
Edelen's campaign and the super PAC made that accusation in previous attacks that Beshear's campaign has called shameful and false. The donation didn't go directly to Beshear's campaign during his successful run for attorney general in 2015.
The new ad causing the stir Thursday said Beshear defended "some of the worst of the worst" in his private practice as an attorney.