WASHINGTON -- The 1st District congressional race is starting to heat up the airwaves.
Representative Roy P. Dyson, D-Md., unveiled this week television and radio ads claiming his GOP opponent, Wayne T. Gilchrest is in favor of cutting Social Security, while a Republican group is running a television ad charging that "scandals keep Roy Dyson's name in the news."
Also this week, Mr. Dyson will start running another television ad -- featuring his mother and other supporters -- accusing the Republicans of "using a negative campaign to hurt Roy Dyson and his family."
The five-term congressman is running ads on Salisbury television and a dozen radio stations throughout the district, charging that Mr. Gilchrest supports cuts in Social Security.
"It's absolutely ludicrous," Mr. Gilchrest said last night. "I've maintained all along that I want the COLAs [cost of living adjustments] to stay intact."
The GOP candidate said he plans to counter the Dyson ad with his own TV ad that could begin running as early as tomorrow in Salisbury. So far, the Gilchrest camp has run biographical TV and radio ads.
Meanwhile, the Free State Republican Fund, a Maryland-based independent group that pushes GOP candidates, started running an ad on Salisbury TV Monday noting that while most congressmen make headlines with their accomplishments, "It's different with Roy Dyson -- scandals keep Roy Dyson's name in the news."
The ad features newspaper headlines with stories dealing with Mr. Dyson's contributions from defense contractors and with the suicide of his former top aide, Thomas Pappas, in 1988.
It is the second ad run by the fund, which financed an ad in September attacking Mr. Dyson for taking "special interest" money.
Mr. Gilchrest, who denounced that ad and asked that it be canceled, took a similar stance yesterday on the latest commercial. "We have totally disavowed ourselves from that group," he said. "I'd like them to stop it. We will not use negative ads."
But Mr. Dyson said yesterday: "Gilchrest and the Free State Republicans are clearly working together. . . . They are like tag-team wrestlers. Gilchrest is trying to come off as Mr. Clean while the Free State Republicans throw mud."
To drive home this point, the Dyson camp will start running an ad this week, with an announcer charging that "Wayne Gilchrest has joined the mean-spirited attacks of the outsiders."
The ad includes newspaper stories quoting national Republican strategists and Representative Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., about plans to defeat the congressman. The ad's announcer also says the Free State Republican Fund "began running vicious commercials full of personal attacks."
"When they attack Roy Dyson they're attacking us," according to a script for the ad, provided by the Dyson campaign.
According to the script, the ad also will include quotes from Ocean City Mayor Roland E. "Fish" Powell and Marie Dyson, the congressman's mother, who says: "It hurts all of his family very deeply because we know him."