Congressional candidate MJ Hegar is no stranger to opening up new doors — and her viral political ad proves it.
The combat veteran and mom is running for Texas’s 31st District seat, currently held by eight-term Republican John Carter, and her “Doors” campaign video is going viral for effectively explaining how she overcame obstacles and opened new doors for herself and others.
The clip shares Hegar’s background of “opening, pushing and sometimes kicking through every door in my way.” There was the glass door that her father threw her mother through before she left him, then there was getting through the door to flight school.
Hegar recalled her three tours in Afghanistan as a Medevac pilot, including how she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, and the Purple Heart after her helicopter was shot down. The door from that helicopter is now hanging in her home.
She knocked on many doors as she lobbied the Obama administration to lift the ban on women serving in combat — and says Carter’s door remained closed when she tried to enlist his help along that journey.
“Apparently, being his constituent and a veteran wasn’t enough to get a meeting. I guess I also needed to be a donor,” states Hegar in the ad. “So now I’m running against him, taking on a system that cares more for campaign donors and political parties than protecting our country.”
“Congressman Carter hasn’t had a tough race his entire career,” Hegar says at the end of the video. “So we’ll show him tough. Then we’ll show him the door.”
Since the campaign ad was posted on Wednesday, it has been viewed over four million times between Facebook and YouTube.
“I think that part of the reason it’s been so well-received is because the message resonates with people,” Hegar told CNN’s New Day on Monday. “A lot of people across the country feel like they have absent representation and that their voices are not being heard.”
She added, “[Carter] hasn’t served and has failed the veterans in his district. So I’m trying to let people know that I’m one of them. I’m representative of the district that I’ve grown up in my whole life.”
The ad has even caught the attention of celebrities.
“MJ, you made the best political ad anyone’s ever seen,” tweeted Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. “I should be asking YOU for help!”
Rosie O’Donnell, Kim Cattrall and David Cross also tweeted their support.
“Holy moly this is AMAZING! Everything about it,” tweeted Cross. “Whoever wrote and directed this is a genius. And MJ Hegar is pretty damn awesome.”