CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Senate 8th District race, which pits Democrat Josh Martin against GOP challenger Chris Walters, just got nasty again.
Earlier this week, Martin's campaign started airing negative television ads that slam Walters for "waffling" on issues.
The ads include 9-year-old photos of Walters -- taken from his former personal MySpace Web page -- when he was a teenager. One photo shows a shirtless Walters, pointing to a tattoo on another man's back. The ad alleges that Walters has changed his position on gay rights.
"[Martin] grabbed a picture of me when I was a minor to make me look young," said Walters, 26. "That's kind of low."
Walters father, Delegate Ron Walters, R-Kanawha, called the Gazette on Thursday to complain about Martin's ad, which is running on three local television stations and several cable channels.
"It's not issue-oriented," Walters said. "It's trash."
Martin stood by the political ad Thursday, saying the 30-second spot is "100 percent true and accurate." He asserted that his campaign has every right to use Walters' MySpace photographs.
"He put that out there of his representation of who he is," said Martin, 35, of Poca.
The 8th District campaign turned ugly last month after Martin and Walters sparred over comments Martin had posted on a professional wrestling website a decade ago.
Some of the comments -- posted under Martin's former wrestling name, "Silver Bullet Chris Sterling" -- were sexually explicit and degraded teenage girls, the mentally handicapped and women with breast cancer.
Martin denied posting any vulgar comments, saying writers for the wrestling show penned the most-offensive website messages. Martin also accused Walters' campaign of compiling the posts and hand-delivering copies to several Charleston media outlets.
Walters acknowledged that he knew about the website messages, but he said he did not distribute them to the media.
On Thursday, Ron Walters said Martin criticized his son's political supporters for making an issue of Martin's explicit website posts from 10 years ago, but that Martin didn't hesitate to use decade-old photos of his son in a negative political ad.