The presumptive Democratic nominee for New Jersey governor is seeking to reverse her campaign's declining fortunes with her first television ad.
State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) released a 33-second commercial highlighting her life story Wednesday morning, in an attempt to introduce herself to Garden State voters. Buono's first foray into television comes as she continues to trail Gov. Chris Christie (R) by over 30 points and faces low fundraising and fractures in the state Democratic Party. Buono is expected to easily win the Democratic nomination in next month's primary over little known opposition.
The commercial follows several weeks of television appearances by Christie, who has been blanketing the state with ads touting his record. Politico reports that Buono's ad buy is worth $1 million and will be centered on television stations in New York City, which reaches voters in northern New Jersey. Voters in South Jersey are covered by Philadelphia television.
In the commercial, Buono directly tells the camera about what she describes as "another New Jersey." She touts parts of her life story, including working her way through college and being the daughter of a butcher. She also takes aim at Christie's economic record, saying the state has 400,000 unemployed and high property taxes. Buono has made economic issues a key part of her campaign against Christie.
“As your governor I will fight to give every New Jersey child the chance I got," Buono says in the commercial.
Christie has been touting his record as governor, including his work on Hurricane Sandy and job creation. In September, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), Christie's economic development and tourism czar, told The Huffington Post that the incumbent has brought new business to the state but that the state's unemployment rate has remained high, with unemployed residents from other states moving to New Jersey to find jobs.
Buono's first television commercial comes after a series of online ads, including one earlier this week where she explained how to pronounce her last name. It also comes after former Gov. Brendan Byrne (D) used two newspaper columns on Sunday to say that Buono should rethink her candidacy in light of her campaign's struggles. Buono is also facing calls from leading Democrats to drop Assemblyman Jason O'Donnell (D-Bayonne) as her choice for state Democratic Party chairman, noting his role in a failed legislative coup and in backing Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy in his landslide defeat for reelection last week. In addition, a growing amount of Democratic elected officials around the state have endorsed Christie.