(CNN) - A Mississippi Democratic congressional candidate in a tight race is publicly distancing himself from Barack Obama in a new television ad after Republicans attempted to link him to the Illinois senator and his controversial former pastor.
"This campaign has been one for the books. My family has heard the lies and attacks linking me to politicians I don't know and have never even met," Travis Childers, a congressional candidate in Mississippi's First District, says in the television spot.
The comments appear to be a reference to Obama, who was the subject of an ad financed by Childers’ Republican opponent, Greg Davis. That ad criticized Childers for being "endorsed by liberal Barack Obama" and for not publicly denouncing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial comments. Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are also briefly mentioned in the ad.
“Senator Obama hasn’t endorsed my candidacy,” Childers told reporters Monday. “I have not been in contact with his campaign nor has he been in contact with mine.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee said Childers' new ad "not only says a lot about himself, but also about the toxicity an Obama candidacy can bring to Democratic campaigns down-ballot."
A special election for the open House seat is set for May 13.