The smashmouth campaign for executive in Snohomish county appears to be destined for bare knuckle politicking all the way to the finish.

Republican candidate for Snohomish County Executive Mike Hope launched a new YouTube advertisement Wednesday alleging Democratic incumbent Aaron Reardon improperly spent thousands of dollars from public funds on trips abroad. The ad states that $14,000 was spent by Reardon on a trip to Paris and that the State Public Disclosure Commission fined Reardon for failing to properly disclose the expenditures. A separate fundraising email coinciding with the ad’s release alleges that a total of $40,000 was spent on trips to Europe and Australia, a claim that is also alluded to in the video piece.

Watch the ad:

Though Hope seems to be succeeding in making a connection with voters, some of his success in the primary could be credited to the bloom coming off of Reardon’s rose. Though the politician voted by Seattle Weekly in 2008 as “Best Dreamy Puget Sound Politician” has previously been a darling of the media, e-mails revealed in The Everett Herald earlier this year exposed a very ugly side of the two-term executive’s leadership style. From the Herald article:

Not long before County Executive Aaron Reardon said he wanted to make peace with the County Council, his right-hand man was directing county staff to dig into a councilman’s past.

County e-mails also show that a few months earlier, Reardon suggested that the same councilman, Brian Sullivan of Mukilteo, must be suffering from a head injury.

Reardon made the comment after reading something Sullivan said in a newspaper article.

Hope is a dark horse possibility to unseat Reardon and become the first Republican to hold the county executive in Snohomish County since the position was created in 1979. Hope received 47.61 percent of the vote in the August primary, an amazing improvement over Republicans’ showing in 2007 when challenger Jack Turk was beaten by more than 30 points.