ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican Senate hopeful Mike McFadden is fighting back against Democrats’ attempts to brand him as a ruthless businessman.

The pushback comes in response to the latest attack ad from Sen. Al Franken. The 60-second spot features workers laid off from a Montana paper mill that was closed, the ad says, after McFadden’s firm worked with the company.

McFadden’s campaign gathered supporters and business leaders in St. Paul Monday to say McFadden’s firm wasn’t involved in the closure. Lazard Middle Market promoted the deal on its website until the ad aired.

McFadden has used his career to portray himself as a problem solver. His campaign is releasing a new ad playing up his business experience and accusing Franken of misleading Minnesotans.

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