These days a completely original line of attack in politics is rare- but in a state Senate race in Maine a totally new messaging strategy has emerged as the state’s Republican Party has begun to highlight Democrat candidate Colleen Lachowicz’s Word of Warcraft persona in the campaign.
Lachowicz, a Democratic challenger running for a Republican-held state Senate seat that encompasses the area between Lewiston and Bangor, is a World of Warcraft fan–she’s a level 85 orc in the popular multi-player online role-playing game. Lachowicz’s gaming hobby came to light earlier this week, and Republicans have jumped on it, launching a website called “Colleen’s World” which highlights comments made by Lachowicz’s warcraft alter-ego, Santiaga.
It turns out that Santiaga has said some not-so-nice things about Republicans, including conservative tax icon and promoter of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” Grover Norquist. Santiaga commented that she “may have to go and hunt down Grover Norquist and drown him in my bath tub.”
Republicans in the state maintain that their criticism of Lachowicz is not about the fact that she plays the game, rather it’s based on the comments made by her alter-ego.
“This is not about her playing video games, this is about the comments she made while gaming,” David Sorenson, communications director for the Maine Republican party, told ABC News, referring to the comments about Norquist, as well as things said about other Republicans. “These are all things that are unbecoming to a state Senator.”
Lachowicz has appeared to shrug off the criticism. Her campaign released a statement on the attacks, criticizing Republicans for not talking about the issues.
“What’s really weird is that the Republicans are going after my hobbies instead of talking about their record while they’ve been running Augusta for the last two years. Instead of talking about what they’re doing for Maine people, they’re making fun of me for playing video games,” Lachowicz said in the statement.
Lachowicz also pointed to data from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board- a regulatory organization that assigns ratings to video games and computer games, stating that gaming is a $24.8 billion dollar industry.
“As a gamer, I’m in good company with folks like Jodie Foster, Vin Diesel, Mike Myers, and Robin Williams. Maybe it’s the Republican Party that is out of touch” Lachowicz said.