CARSON CITY -- State Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto began running a TV ad Thursday that points out her Republican opponent spent 45 days in jail for misdemeanor trespassing and resisting arrest at an abortion clinic.
The ad, scheduled to run throughout Nevada, states Travis Barrick "served jail time in Southern California for harassing women."
Barrick won the Republican primary "on a fluke" because no one knew who he was, according to the ad. "Now we know."
Barrick did not respond to phone calls and e-mail messages seeking comment.
Barrick, 55, is a former San Diego-area carpenter and evangelical minister who became a lawyer in 2002 and moved back to his native Nevada in 2005.
At campaign appearances, he sometimes "amens" people with whom he agrees. He rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, says he likes drinking beer and in a recent interview referred to Masto as "bitchin."
On his website, Barrick calls himself the "integrity candidate" for attorney general.
The arrest of Barrick and six other anti-abortion protesters was reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune, according to information the Masto campaign released to the media.
According to one story, Barrick was part of an Operation Rescue demonstration to blockade the entrance to the Family Planning Medical Group clinic in La Mesa on July 3, 1989. A jury convicted them that September, and he and four others chose to serve time in jail rather than pay fines.
One of his co-defendants shouted "Glory to God" when he was taken away by guards at the protest, according to the newspaper.
When he lived in the San Diego area, Barrick served three years as an assistant minister at Calvary Chapel of El Cajon. He was in charge of youth programs.
A Review-Journal poll in May found 81 percent of respondents had never heard of Barrick. He won the primary over Jacob Hafter, another widely unknown lawyer, who had been a registered Democrat until a few months before the election.
In previous interviews with the Review-Journal, Barrick said he opposed abortion but would enforce all state laws as attorney general.
Voters in Nevada overwhelmingly passed a ballot referendum in 1990 that makes the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade abortion decision a state law that cannot be repealed without a subsequent vote of the people.
The law allows abortions on demand during the first 24 weeks of a pregnancy. After that period, abortions may be performed when necessary to preserve the life of the woman.
A poll conducted for the Review-Journal in September showed Masto holding a 10 percentage point lead over Barrick.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901.