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Outside groups trade attack ads in heated North Los Angeles County Congressional race

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a new attack ad Friday calling Lancaster Rep. Steve Knight's strong anti-abortion stance "even more troubling" than Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's "disrespect toward women." The DCCC has named Knight a top target this election season.

The ad echoes another attack ad paid for by Democratic candidate Bryan Caforio's campaign last month. Both highlight Knight saying: "I am pro-life. I don't make exception."  

Knight is not among the Republicans who say they oppose abortion but make exceptions in cases of rape, incest or when a mother's life is at risk.

“I am a pro-life candidate. I make no exception. I don’t have any of those three that a lot of my other Republicans have,” Knight said in an interview in December. 

Knight has emphasized his anti-abortion stance since he won the seat in 2014. That race pitted Knight against fellow Republican and former state legislator Tony Strickland.

“Congressman Steve Knight’s extreme views on women’s health go way too far for the voters of the 25th District,” DCCC spokeswoman Barb Solish said.

The ad will air on network and cable TV through election day as part of a seven-figure ad buy, according to a source tracking media buys.

The National Republican Congressional Committee also released a new attack ad Friday that will run through the election. The ad attempts to label Caforio, who only moved to the suburban district shortly before announcing his candidacy last December, as "not one of us." The ad also highlights a Times story that looked at Caforio’s six-year tenure at the Century City firm Susman Godfrey.

The ad will run on cable television and on the radio as part of a roughly $625,000 media buy, according to another source tracking media buys.

The expensive ad campaign is the latest sign that the closely watched race is heating up.

So far, outside groups affiliated with both parties have spent $667,606 to influence the race, mainly paying for canvassing and get-out-the-vote efforts, according to federal records. 

Political handicappers and Democratic party strategists believe the once solidly Republican district that covers Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita and Simi Valley could turn blue now that the two parties are virtually tied among the number of registered voters in the district.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report called Knight "the most vulnerable incumbent in California."

Knight came in first place during the June primary with 48.5% of the vote while Caforio took 29% of the vote and Democrat Lou Vince was eliminated with a third-place showing of 15.4%.

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