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Gardner says he wouldn't have run NRSC ad that discusses Firestone home explosion

Erin Martinez, whose husband was killed in a 2017 home explosion, asked Senator Cory Gardner to remove the ad.

DENVER — The wife of one of the two men killed when a home exploded in Firestone in 2017 has asked Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) to get a political ad that discusses the event taken down.

Erin Martinez was injured in the April 17, 2017 blast and her husband Mark Martinez and brother Joey Irwin were killed.

The political ad that Martinez wants taken down was paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). It claims that Hickenlooper let Anadarko off the hook for the incident because the oil and gas company donated to the governor’s office.

Earlier this year, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conversation Commission (COGCC) approved a $18.25 million fine against Kerr-McGee, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, which acquired Anadarko.

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Gardner said he spoke to Martinez on the phone on Tuesday, but that he did not have good news.

“I spoke to Erin Martinez today and expressed to her that I would not have personally run the ad, and I hope the ad comes down,” a statement from Gardner reads. “If I had the power to take down the ad, I would.”

Martinez said she believed the senator could get the ad removed. And while Martinez said it took Gardner and his staff more than four days to respond to her initial phone call, a spokesperson for the senator said they received a voicemail from Martinez on Monday and called back that day to schedule the conversation.

"Senator Gardner underestimates his power to have the ad taken down if he publicly speaks forcefully to make it happen,” she said. “After talking to him, I wonder if he really understands the harm the ad has inflicted."

The NRSC said the ad would not be pulled down and that ad creative changes weekly.

Watch a Truth Test of its content in the video player above.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story did not properly characterize the NRSC's intent with respect to pulling the ad. It has since been updated. 

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