KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Attack ads are hitting the airwaves as election day draws near. At least one independent group is campaigning against a candidate in the GOP primary for the 3rd District congressional seat.
The latest TV advertisement endorsed by Scottie Mayfield, takes a shot at Congressman Chuck Fleischmann's voting record.
The candidate aligns Fleischmann with the "Obama agenda," claiming the congressman voted "one out of four times" with President Barack Obama.
In a news release, Fleischmann's campaign quickly dismissed the commercial as a "false TV ad."
Jordan Powell, Fleischmann's campaign manager, said, "The idea that Chuck has voted with President Obama is absurd. He has been a staunch opponent of President Obama since taking office in 2010."
Mike Cohen, owner of Cohen Communications Group, weighed in on why these advertisements are becoming negative.
"If you're seeing all the candidates in the race be negative, it means it's a real horse race and everyone is looking for edge by knocking down their opponent," he said.
Congressman Fleischmann is believed to be the favorite in the race. His latest TV ad is an endorsement by Mike Huckabee.
The Citizens for a Working America PAC, a Virginia-based conservative group, attacks Mayfield in an ad that's now airing.
The ad claims Mayfield "got caught admitting he doesn't know what he wants to do when he gets to Washington."
At the end of the ad, the announcer says Mayfield is "Good for ice cream, not so good for the issues."
The Fleischmann campaign says it has no knowledge of the ad.
Mayfield campaign spokesman Joe Hendrix responded to the ad, saying, "One of our opponents is hiding behind a veil of money funding negative attack ads. The voters know nothing about this group, or who their donors are."
Cohen says voters won't associate ads from PAC's with a specific candidate.
"It makes a difference when a candidate has to come on and say, I approve this message. When it's anything other than that, I don't think people associate with anything in particular, they're going to pick up a message," Cohen said.
The attacks are also appearing on social media sites like Twitter. On Tuesday, Fleischmann's senior campaign advisor tweeted, "The hypocrisy of Mayfield's negative campaign ad is stunning."
Weston Wamp tweeted that Scottie Mayfield "already sounds like any other D.C. politician."
A Scottie Mayfield tweet Wednesday took a shot at Fleischmann's campaign advisers.
Cohen says politicians on social media can help to create a buzz for potential voters. "It doesn't cost you a thing to put a tweet, to put a Facebook, so it potentially reaches millions and millions of people," he said.
Early voting runs through Saturday. Election Day is on August 2.