COLUMBUS—Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald began airing his first ad today, foregoing the typical introduction to the voter to immediately hammer home his message that Republican Gov. John Kasich’s policies favor the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
The much better financed Mr. Kasich has been on the air for months with biographical ads financed by his campaign and the Republican Governors Association, making the case that his policies have set a troubled state on a prosperous path.
Neither mentions his opponent, although it is clear from Mr. FitzGerald’s ads whose policies he is criticizing.
VIDEO: Scroll below to see both gubernatorial candidates‘ TV ads
“Who is the promise of Ohio meant for? Just the wealthy and well-connected or the average Ohioans who get up early and get it done every day…?” he asks voters over images of Ohioans at work.
“Let’s start supporting the middle class for a change, not just the wealthy few, because Ohio was meant for all of us,” Mr. FitzGerald says. He pledges to restore funding to local governments and schools that saw cuts under Mr. Kasich’s first budget.
The ad is airing on broadcast stations in his back yard of Cleveland and in Columbus but on cable channels elsewhere in the state. As of the last campaign finance report in mid-June, Mr. Kasich had $9.3 million in the bank compared to $1.9 million for Mr. FitzGerald.
Mr. Kasich’s latest ad remains focused on the state’s economy.
“Four years ago our economy was broken,” a narrator states in Mr. Kasich’s ad over images of an empty factory and the governor on the stump.
“Ohio had an $8 billion budget deficit,” the narrator says. ”We were losing jobs. Taxes were rising. Hope was fading. John Kasich took office and made the tough calls, and today Ohio is on a better path.”
Because of the governor‘s fund-raising advantage, Mr. FitzGerald has been much slower out of the gate in reaching TV. Mr. FitzGerald, however, has insisted that the governor is vulnerable.
“He has about 90 percent name recognition, but only about half the people that are familiar with his record have any inclination to vote for him,” Mr. FitzGerald told reporters last week. “And then if you look at the polling as to how people feel about his policies, they don’t like them. That is not a typically winning formula for success.”
The state Republican Party, in the meantime, has launched a Web site, having snapped up the web address FitzgeraldForOhio.com in hopes of capturing eyeballs looking for an official FitzGerald site.
“Ed FitzGerald leads a ticket of Democrat candidates who aim to raise taxes, expand government, and embrace the Obama policies that are ruining America,” party Chairman Matt Bruges says in a fund-raising pitch tied to the launch of the site.
Contact Jim Provance at: email@example.com or 614-221-0496.