PERRIS ( —  Riverside County District Attorney candidate Mike Hestrin says a political ad calling him a “deadbeat dad” is a lie.

The ad, sponsored by Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach, who is running for re-election, claims Hestrin twice had to be “ordered to support the daughter he tried to financially abandon.”

But Hestrin insists the allegations have no merit.

“They’re tactics of a desperate man. These things are completely false,” he told CBS2’s Crystal Cruz.

The ad is the latest nasty turn in the race, which saw tensions rise when Indio police asked the state attorney general to file criminal charges against Zellerbach for allegedly driving a county car to Indio and twice taking down Hestrin’s campaign signs. One incident was caught on grainy cell phone video.

Zellerbach maintains he has no regrets about touching the signs.

“It was an accident. I’ve indicated that before,” he said.

Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff, along with several other officers in the county, have since pulled their endorsements for Zellerbach following the sign incident.

The two opponents spoke at a forum in Perris Wednesday night.

“The system is working much better than it has for many many years and we still have a long way to go,” Zellerbach said, while Hestrin vowed to “dedicate every minute that I’m your district attorney to service.”

If either candidate gets 50 percent plus one vote next Tuesday, he will win the race.