Republican Endorsed By Convicted Killer Featured in Republican Ad

Nebraska Representative Lee Terry has been campaigning against the state's early release law for prisoners.
Photography by Eric Francis/Getty Images

Representative Lee Terry of Nebraska got an endorsement Wednesday that he definitely didn't want. It came from a convicted killer.

Earlier this year, the National Republican Congressional Committee released an ad telling the story of Nikko Jenkins, convicted of killing four people just weeks after he was released early from prison under the state's “good time” law, which gives prisoners a day off their sentence for every day served without breaking prison rules. The ad targeted Terry's opponent, Democratic state Senator Brad Ashford, who supported the early release law, as being soft on crime.

For the GOP, it was reminiscent of the Willie Horton ad that helped torpedo the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. But hopes that the new ad would work as well evaporated when Jenkins appeared in court for a competency hearing.

“Vote Lee Terry guys, greatest Republican ever. He worships my [unintelligible],” Jenkins shouted.

“Vote for Lee Terry. He’s a great guy,” he added.

Being trolled by a convicted killer might be worth it if Terry got a bump in the polls as a result. But a new poll by DFM Research, a Democratic firm, shows Terry trailing Ashford by five points. That doesn't mean Ashford's actually in the lead—the poll, based on phone interviews with 365 likely voters from Oct. 21 to 25, has a margin of error of 5.1 percentage points—but it gels with Real Clear Politics's projection that the race is a toss-up.

Despite his support for Terry, Jenkins is not eligible to vote



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