High gasoline prices have become a political wild card in California, where several tight races are pivotal to Democrats’ slim hopes of winning back control of the House.

Gas prices are always higher in California, but lately they’re bad even by Golden State standards, soaring a half-dollar in one week to average $4.67-per-gallon on Oct. 9.

Republicans have sought political mileage from pump prices, and there is more to come. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), who faces a challenge from Democrat Raul Ruiz, is running an ad that begins with shots of gas price signs and then cuts to the eight-term congresswoman filling up an SUV.

“These gas prices are outrageous. They have more than doubled in the past four years, and working families are hurting the most. This has to change,” she says.