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Chickens, fish tanks and childbirth: this week on the US campaign trail

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South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham called his opponent, current Republican governor Henry McMaster, a 'chicken' for not agreeing to more televised debates./AFP
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Oct 21, 2022 - 10:25 AM

WASHINGTON — One month before the US midterm elections, candidates are tapping their creativity to reach out to voters, flexing their comedic chops or displaying intimate moments of their lives. Here are some of the most interesting moments from a week on the campaign trail.

Who’s a chicken? 

He calls his opponent a chicken — while holding a chicken. South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham called out his opponent, current Republican governor Henry McMaster, for not agreeing to more televised debates.

“Come on, Governor, don’t be a chicken,” the young Democratic candidate said Thursday, holding a hen aptly named “Henrietta McMaster.”

“I’m not a chicken, I’m not afraid to defend my views,” he added to the press.

A stinging barb 

Standing against a white background, John Neely Kennedy chose to attack Democrats while standing next to a vertical fish tank full of jellyfish.

“The left thinks that vetting people at our southern border is racist. The left thinks that government employees have a constitutional right to talk to five years old about sexuality,” the Republican senator from Louisiana said.

“It’s frustrating to me to see how our country, which was founded by geniuses, (is) being run by idiots. But still, I’m an optimist, guys. I have hope for my liberal friends,” he says, approaching the fish tank and preparing a zinger. “Jellyfish have survived for 165 million years without a brain.”

Two birds, one stone 

Ray Perkins is the owner of the “Chubby Ray” restaurant in Jeffersontown, a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky. He is also a candidate for mayor, and does not hesitate to mix personal business with his public campaign.

But a local news station said he may have gone too far: it ran a story about an unusual campaign mailer that is partly a flyer for Perkins’s mayoral campaign and also contains coupons for his restaurant.

On the left, against a blue background, are Perkins’s face and slogans. On the right is a coupon for burgers and pizzas.

“I’m just letting people know that the guy running for mayor is the same guy who owns the restaurant,” he said on television.

Televised childbirth 

It’s a campaign clip that opens like so many others: a candidate alongside her husband and her daughter, talking about family amid scenes from their farm in Louisiana.

“And someone else is going to join us,” Katie Darling adds in voiceover, her pregnancy bump plainly visible.

The next shots show her entering a hospital.

“We should be putting pregnant women at ease, not putting their life at risk,” the Democrat running for a congressional seat says, as viewers see her going into labor.

By showing herself giving birth, Darling said she was supporting the fight for abortion rights in one of the states that has banned abortions since the Supreme Court overturned the nationwide right to the procedure in June.

“I am the one in the hospital bed, not the legislators in Baton Rouge or Washington,” she says.

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