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McFeely: It's not even Tax Day and N.D. U.S. Senate race is getting nasty

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There was no doubt the U.S. Senate race between Democrat incumbent Heidi Heitkamp and Republican challenger Kevin Cramer was going to get nasty. With Republicans holding a narrow 51-49 majority and Heitkamp the only Democrat holding a statewide office in deep-red North Dakota, the national GOP has targeted her as particularly vulnerable.

But getting nasty six months before Election Day? Before all the snow has melted in North Dakota? Before the day when we’re required to pay our taxes?

Not sure anybody saw it getting this gnarly this fast.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC whose stated goal is “to protect and expand the Republican Senate majority,” released a 15-second video ad hitting Heitkamp over the recent attacks in Syria — and using images of children killed and injured in chemical attacks.

The ad, titled “Dead Wrong,” shows a clip of Heitkamp saying the U.S. has to trust “Russia’s intent” in a 2013 agreement that was meant to strip Syria of chemical weapons. Heitkamp’s image is side-by-side with video of Syrian children killed and injured by chemical weapons. Syrian opposition forces say the government of President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons Saturday on Douma, a rebel-held town, killing at least 40 people.

The shots of the children make for a nasty, nasty visual.