(CNN) – After a barrage of television ads hit Arkansas airwaves criticizing Sen. Mark Pryor, the Democrat is going up with his own spot defending himself as an independent mind beholden to no special interests.
"The mayor of New York City is running ads against me because I oppose President Obama's gun control legislation," Pryor says in the spot. "Nothing in the Obama plan would have prevented tragedies like Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, or even Jonesboro. I'm committed to finding real solutions to gun violence while protecting our second amendment rights."
Pryor, considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2014, has been hit by both sides in recent weeks. The group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, funded partly by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is airing a spot targeting Pryor for his "no" vote last month on measure that would have expanded background checks on gun sales.
Meanwhile the Senate Conservative Fund is running ads linking Pryor to Obama, claiming the lawmaker is closely tied to other items on the president's agenda, including Obamacare.
The two-term Pryor was easily re-elected in 2008, winning 80% of the vote in a contest against a Green party candidate. He was the only sitting senator that cycle to not face a major party challenge, as the GOP didn't field a candidate.
But in 2014, national Republicans are eyeing freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, who's been getting a lot of national exposure, to challenge Pryor in Arkansas, a state where Republican Mitt Romney defeated Obama by 23 points.
With pressure from both sides, Pryor is declaring himself above party politics. The ad will begin airing statewide in Friday, and is Pryor's first spot in his 2014 re-election bid.
"No one in Washington tells me what to do," he says at the end of the ad. "I listen to Arkansas."
CNN's Kevin Liptak and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story