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Bobby Schilling's son takes over campaign since cancer diagnosis
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Bobby Schilling's son takes over campaign since cancer diagnosis

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Terry Schilling, the son of Bobby Schilling, said Thursday he would be taking over his father's campaign after Bobby Schilling announced his cancer diagnosis on Wednesday. 

Terry, 33, lives in northern Virginia. He made the announcement during a Facebook Live event, saying he also would be campaigning in place of his father up until election day. 

Bobby Schilling underwent surgery Thursday, said campaign spokesman Jon Schweppe, and is "doing well."

Bobby is a candidate in the June 2 Republican primary for Iowa's 2nd Congressional District. Primary opponent Mariannette Miller-Meeks posted on Twitter that she reached out to the Schilling family. 

"Tonight, I called Bobby Schilling and left a voicemail to let him know that Curt and I are praying for him and wishing him a speedy recovery," Miller-Meeks wrote. "With a loving family at his side, I know he'll have the support he needs and I look forward to seeing him on the trail again!"

Because of Miller-Meeks' outreach, Terry said the Schilling campaign would remove all negative ads against her campaign. 

"I want to commend his main primary opponent, Mariannette Miller-Meeks," Terry said. "She found out about this yesterday and she left him a really nice voicemail and let him know that she was praying for him, and we’re very appreciative of that."

Additionally, Terry committed to pulling all negative ads and called on Mariannette Miller-Meeks to do the same.

"Today I have taken the reins of the campaign," he said. "I have instructed them to take down all of our negative ads attacking (Miller-Meeks). We’re gonna run a positive campaign.

"I am going to challenge her while (Bobby) is in this state to pull down the negative campaign ads. We’re pulling down all of our negative ads, we’re asking you to do the same thing. Run all the ads you want, on television, anywhere, but tell your story. Stick to being positive. Tell people why they should vote for you, not why they should vote against my dad.

"I think it would send a clear message to voters in the district if Mariannette Miller-Meeks and her campaign were to pull down her negative campaign ads."

But the campaign cease fire didn't last for long. 

Eric Woolson, campaign spokesman for Miller-Meeks, announced their campaign strategy would remain the same. 

"We are very sorry for Mr. Schilling's circumstances and wish him a speedy recovery," Woolson said in a release. "His campaign has been badly underfunded throughout the primary and, frankly, I am unaware that it has either the plans or ability to air any television ads during the primary, let alone the capacity to challenge (Democrat) Rita Hart in the general election. 

"Mr. Schilling himself said Wednesday that he remains an active candidate," Woolson said. "As such, we will continue with our strategy as planned."

Terry Schilling responded on Twitter: "Heartless and disgusting, (Miller-Meeks). Heartless and disgusting. Your voicemail was disingenuous and I hope you can justify this to God when you meet him. Game on."

As of Friday afternoon, two anti-Miller-Meeks websites, knowmiller-meeks.com and thegreatpretender.us had been taken down by the Schilling campaign. But an anti-Bobby Schilling website, schillingforvotes.com, remains up and running. The site is paid for by Miller-Meeks for Congress. 

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