(CNN) – Facing an uphill battle for re-election, Democrat Bill Owens is bragging about his allegiances to the other side of the aisle.
In a new ad out Tuesday, the Democrat who won a special House seat in a conservative upstate New York District last year, declares he voted with "the Republican leader 63 percent of the time."
That comes in response to charges from his opponent, Matt Doheny, that Owens has been a reliable vote for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – an accusation that could prove fatal in the state's 23rd Congressional District that had been controlled by a Republican for more than a century before Owens' victory.
Owens was the victor in a special election late last year, when he faced Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava and Tea Party-backed candidate Doug Hoffman. The two essentially split the Republican vote in the upstate district, leading to a surprise Owens win.
Responding the ad, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain said, "The very same site that Owens uses to back up his claim in his ad shows that he votes with his party 93 percent of the time."
"It should come as no surprise that the very same congressman who broke four campaign promises within one hour after being sworn in, is now lying about his record. The numbers speak for themselves, since coming to congress, Bill Owens has been a nothing more than a reliable vote sitting in Nancy Pelosi's back pocket," Spain said.
Owens is only the latest in a string of vulnerable Democrats to overtly run against their own party's leadership. On Monday, West Virginia Senate Candidate Joe Manchin, a Democrat, went so far in a campaign advertisement as to shoot a bullet through a cap-and-trade legislation his party supports.
Other examples include Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-North Dakota, who touted his support of former President Bush's Medicare plan in a recent ad, and Rep. Bobby Bright, D-Alabama, who says in an ad that he "votes 80 percent with the Republican leader."