Democratic congressional candidate Estakio Beltran of Yakima is a little tired of hearing that he doesn’t stand a chance in the race to succeed Doc Hastings, and he’s taking up arms to show it.
Beltran threw a Hail Mary in his campaign’s first television ad, letting out his frustrations with a shotgun and a piñata in the shape of an elephant.
The ad opens with Beltran in the high desert steppe staring off presumably across the 4th Congressional District. Then a voice-over:
“They call me a long shot. They say I can’t win in this district,” Beltran is heard saying as he takes aim at the stuffed party favor. “But what happens to an elephant that stands around doing nothing for too long?”
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Bang. The elephant takes one, and by appearances directly to the gluteus maximus. Seconds later the ad ends with Beltran riding off on a donkey toward Washington, D.C., as exhibited by a paper printout of the Capitol dome with an arrow pointing the way.
Beltran’s campaign manager said the campaign plans to run the ads on television beginning later this week.
The ad is 30 seconds long but it leaves a lot of layers to sift through, not the least of which is that Beltran makes himself just the latest candidate to show off his or her appreciation of firearms. Republican Clint Didier recently raffled away three firearms and Dan Newhouse, another Republican frontrunner, poses with a rifle in part of his new television ad.
Newspaper editorial boards and analysts following the race have largely dismissed the 31-year-old’s candidacy for various reasons. From lack of name recognition to competition from another Democrat and a crowded but highly motivated Republican field of candidates, there are several ways Beltran can find himself outside of the Top Two on Aug. 5.
But he has the enthusiastic backing of stalwarts in the Democratic establishment around the district. It will also be interesting to see how much the state party throws behind him after ambitiously tweeting in February that Democrats would win back the district this year.
Now the question is whether other frustrated voters will be motivated by the ad — which says a lot about Beltran’s frustrations but not much about the candidate himself — or dismiss it as cartoonish.
Beltran is the third candidate in the race to release a television ad so far, after Newhouse and Republican George Cicotte.