HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Call it conventional wisdom.
In an increasingly progressive city where there's no love lost for the president, any mayoral candidate with a link to Donald Trump will likely come under attack.
"Millionaire Tony Buzbee is one of Donald Trump's largest Texas donors, donating more than $500,000 to Trump. The last thing we need is more noise from Trump... or his copycat Tony Buzbee," reads the narrator of an attack ad funded by Mayor Sylvester Turner.
The ad is meant to stir among Houston's diverse electorate distrust of the mayor's best funded, most aggressive challenger. It is hitting the air waves eight weeks before the election.
Candidate Buzbee, who has aired a barrage of attack ads aimed at Turner, spoke with FOX 26, calling the mayor's spot "desperate."
"Donald Trump is not running for mayor. I'm nothing like Donald Trump. People know that. Anybody that knows me, knows that," said Buzbee.
"I've always tried to support people who I thought would be game changers, people who I thought when they got into to government they would make a difference, make the city or the country or the state better. I supported Mayor Turner. Of all the candidates I've supported, he's the biggest disappointment I've had," said Buzbee.
When asked if he was disappointed in President Trump, Buzbee said, "I try to stay out of presidential politics. It's such a lightning rod."
Citing Buzbee's recent, large donations to Democrats in Harris County and even his term as Democratic Party Chairman in Galveston County, Rice political analyst Mark Jones calls the Turner ad "inflammatory."
"It's not fair to characterize Tony Buzbee as a strong Trump supporter. He's a pragmatist who will support politicians across the aisle," said Jones.
FOX 26 reached out to the Turner campaign which defended the ad, claiming Buzbee "shares" Mr. Trump's "values" and believes he can "buy the election."