U.S. Sen. David Vitter, sitting on the largest campaign account in the Louisiana governor’s race, is finally pumping some of the money into TV advertising.
The Republican candidate from Metairie launches his first 30-second TV ad Thursday, the second gubernatorial contender to do so.
Campaign spokesman Luke Bolar said the spot will run in every market across the state, on both network and cable channels. He said in an email that the campaign does not release information about its strategies and wouldn’t disclose the size of the ad buy, but described it as significant.
But records filed with the Federal Communications Commission indicate that Vitter’s campaign spent about $100,000 to run the commercial, primarily in Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, of Breaux Bridge, spent about $85,000 in Baton Rouge and Lafayette this week, according to FCC documents, and $250,000 for commercials running statewide through the end of August. He also bought television advertising in June.
His latest 30-second spot, unveiled Wednesday, has Angelle talking of the need to protect “religious freedom.” Another Angelle ad released earlier this week features the candidate describing a need to bolster state worker training programs.
More advertising is expected to roll out near the Labor Day holiday and around the candidate sign-up period, Sept. 8-10.
The other candidates in the race, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a Baton Rouge Republican, and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards, of Amite, are still developing their television ad buys.
Vitter’s ad, posted online in advance, contrasts Louisiana’s problems of today with Vitter’s suggestions for improving them. He talks of eliminating waste in state government, expanding skills training for workers and raising public school teacher pay.
At the end of the ad, Vitter walks from a dark shadow near the Louisiana Capitol into a bright, sunny neighborhood as he says, “Join me in a much brighter tomorrow.”
The election is Oct. 24.
Vitter is sitting on $5 million in his campaign account, compared with nearly $1.9 million for Dardenne, nearly $1.1 million for Edwards and just over $1 million for Angelle, according to the most recent fundraising reports.
A separate political action committee created to boost Vitter’s candidacy also reported $4.4 million in its account.