Bob Kerrey's campaign for Nebraska's open U.S. Senate seat launched its first television ads on Tuesday.
The first ad, "Welcome Home," addressed Kerrey's return to Nebraska after spending a decade in New York City, where he was president of the New School.
Kerrey, a Democrat who has served as both a senator from Nebraska and governor of the state, initially said he would not be running for the Senate seat left open by Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb.) retirement. Nelson won the Nebraska seat after Kerrey neglected to run for a third Senate term in 2000. But a few weeks later Kerrey changed his mind and announced he would run for the seat.
Republicans responded almost immediately to Kerrey's change of heart in February, claiming that it stemmed from backroom deals between Kerrey and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Conservative advocacy group Crossroads GPS recently launched a radio attack ad saying Kerrey is an "embarrassment" to Nebraska. The $80,000 ad buy berates the candidate for cutting a deal with Reid that's "so secret Kerrey won't talk about what promises were made."
Despite the negativity of the Crossroads ad, Kerrey appears to have chosen to keep things positive. In his second ad, "Step Up," Kerrey speaks to the camera about what he sees as the problems with Washington.
"We need leaders willing to lead, willing to make the tough decisions, willing to work with both parties," Kerrey said. "And I'm ready to do just that."
The week-long ad buy will cost the Kerrey campaign $104,794 through next Monday, according to Politico.
Democrat Chuck Hassebrook, who left his position as Regent at the University of Nebraska to run for the seat, backed out of the Democratic primary race last week to endorse Kerrey.
Watch the ads:
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Chuck Hassebrook was running against Kerrey in the Democratic primary. Hassebrook dropped out last week and Kerrey is now running unopposed.
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