Miami Democrat Scott Fuhrman has seized on Zika as a political campaign issue as he tries to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Fuhrman debuted a 15-second video -- and a separate, non-video web ad -- blaming Ros-Lehtinen for Congress' inaction on the mosquito-borne virus. Lawmakers went on recess for seven weeks without passing legislation funding anti-Zika measures.
"Pregnant women told to stay out of our neighborhoods?" the video asks. "Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen goes on recess?"
A first-time candidate, Fuhrman is running a long-shot campaign against the popular congresswoman. Zika gave him an opening to draw at least a little bit of media attention; he showed up at a news conference last week held by Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on the virus. Fuhrman's wife, who is pregnant, gave an interview to NBC News sharing her concerns about contracting the virus.
Late Friday, Ros-Lehtinen sent Republican leaders in Congress a letter asking them to convene an emergency session to approve a Zika bill. She also wrote President Barack Obama, urging him to use existing funds to combat Ebola for Zika instead. And she led an effort by the Florida congressional delegation to request more money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Zika has become a hot campaign issue in Miami, with politicians ranging from the governor to city mayors touring Ground Zero in Wynwood -- and nabbing air time -- as they try to raise awareness about the virus.