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A Woman Running For Office Has A Simple Question: "Who Can You Trust Most Not To Show You Their Penis?"

"Yes, I'm a woman. That's not a liability — that's an asset," Dana Nessel, a Democratic candidate for Michigan attorney general, says in her campaign ad.

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In a controversial new campaign ad, Dana Nessel, a Democratic candidate for Michigan attorney general, has a question for voters: Which candidate do you trust most to not be a sexual harasser?

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“If the last few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that we need more women in positions of power, not less,” Nessel says in the ad.

“So, when you’re choosing Michigan’s next attorney general, ask yourself this: Who can you trust most not to show you their penis in a professional setting?" she asks. "Is it the candidate who doesn’t have a penis? I’d say so.”

The ad comes after a flurry of high-profile sexual harassment accusations, including ones aimed at US politicians: Sen. Al Franken, Senate candidate Roy Moore, and Rep. John Conyers, who represents Michigan.

Nessel is running to be nominated in a race that could result in an "all-female ticket," a concept that has faced major pushback, she says in the ad.

"Pundits and insiders are asking, 'Can we afford to have a female governor, a female attorney general, and a female secretary of state?'" says Nessel. "Well, I read the news, and I bet you do too. And it has me wondering — can we afford not to?"

As assistant prosecutor, Nessel previously prosecuted sexual abuse cases and fought to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption in Michigan in 2015.

In her ad, Nessel promises voters she "will not sexually harass my staff" and "won't tolerate it in your workplace either."

"I won't walk around in a half-open robe, and I'll continue to take all sex crimes seriously, just like I did as a prosecutor," she says.

"You won't find me using your hard-earned tax dollars to silence victims or join right-wing lawsuits that make it harder for you to get health insurance," she says. "I'll be too busy doing what I've always done: going to bat for the people who need it most, and winning."

"Yes, I'm a woman," she concludes. "That's not a liability — that's an asset."

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Nessel has received national support for her ad, with people across the country saying they'd vote for her.

If I was a citizen of Michigan, I would vote for her https://t.co/f8YXMyBObY

Many people have come out in support of the idea of the all-female ticket.

I don't see the problem in having an all-female ticket for a state. There have been all-male tickets the entirety… https://t.co/QbVrKNRnng

She makes a great point. If we are an equal society where both men and women flourish on the basis of qualificatio… https://t.co/aCpRJ9pXa6

Though opposers of Nessel have criticized the ad as "classless."

I would think experience and knowledge of the Legal system would be more important than whether or not you have a p… https://t.co/xGiy7TwscW

This is how far our country has fallen. https://t.co/WEo0FNvmqU

In an email to BuzzFeed News, Nessel said that she didn't think her ad should be so controversial.

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

"Sometimes you have to use bold language to open up a necessary conversation, and I’ve never shied away from an honest assessment of the way things are," said Nessel.

"To me, the real controversy is that we have to defend women against the assumption that their gender is a political liability, and that somehow we are still tolerant of rampant sexual harassment," she said.

"I’m not using this issue to campaign, I am making a promise to every Michigan resident: I won’t commit this abuse of power, and I won’t tolerate it anywhere," she said. "Not in my workplace, and not in yours."

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

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