Onorato goes up with TV ads (Updated)
With the clock ticking down to primary day, Democratic gubernatorial front-runner Dan Onorato appears to be the first statewide candidate in Pennsylvania with campaign ads on television.
Onorato’s campaign bought its first TV airtime for Tuesday, according to a person close to the campaign. Though the source didn’t indicate the precise size of the purchase, it was described as a “heavy” ad buy, expected to include prime-time lead-in shows Tuesday evening. Reporters from pa2010.com have yet to personally see any campaign ads, but will be on the lookout throughout the day Tuesday.
Onorato’s TV launch date had become a subject of intense speculation by political insiders in recent weeks. By starting to run TV ads 48 days before the primary, Onorato is taking advantage of a significant fundraising edge over his Democratic opponents; with well over $6 million in the bank, he has more than the three other candidates in the race put together.
The campaign is expected to stay on the air with TV ads from now until primary day, a dynamic that will almost certainly lead to a significant jump in name recognition for the Allegheny County Executive, who has been holding narrow leads in what most polls have shown to be a wide open race.
Onorato likely waited until Tuesday because Monday night saw the close of the latest campaign finance reporting period. When campaign finance reports are published in April, Onorato will be able to able to claim a cash-on-hand number that includes money since spent on advertising. The campaign also won’t have to detail exactly how much it spent on its first round of TV time.
An Onorato campaign spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday morning.
UPDATE: In an e-mail to supporters Tuesday evening, the campaign spotlighted three ads it said are now running on TV. All three can be seen here; pa2010.com saw the one embedded below air during CBS Evening News.
March 30, 2010 at 8:00 pm
Tags: Dan Onorato