The opioid crisis is affecting several political campaigns, but most candidates don’t run on being a victim of it. Boyd Melson is a different story.
Melson burst into New York’s 11th congressional district Democratic primary with stunning ad in which he admits to a 7-year fight to break an addiction to painkillers.
The ad begins with news reports about the crisis, as Melson pensively looks at the New York skyline. We hear that Staten Island – the lion’s share of the 11th district – has the highest rates of opioid deaths in New York City.
“I was born into a life of service” Melson says, over a montage of childhood photos, noting that he and several family members are military veterans. On top of that, “when I was active duty I boxed full time. I ended up become the World Military Boxing champion.” The ad is heavy on footage of Melson in the ring, as there is no better to show that a candidate is a “fighter.”
But the story takes a turn. He needed multiple surgeries, and then was prescribed painkillers for six months. “That was the beginning of a seven year journey to get myself off of taking those medications,” he shares.
He points a finger at feckless politicians for failing to address problems like the opioid crisis. “We’re talking about people, dying. Dying! I’m tired of politicians caring more about being re-election than serving their people.”
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