Perdue becomes the second candidate to go up on television in the race. State House Speaker Rick Thompson (D) launched a spot last weekend and a second one this week. "We think utilities is the biggest issue in this campaign," said Perdue spokesperson George Monahan. The Charleston Daily Mail reports that Perdue began a petition drive Wednesday to convince the state Public Service Commission to freeze current rates for gas, water and electric customers until 2012. "Other candidates for governor are taking thousands in campaign cash from the big utility companies while our jobs go out of state, and our utility bills skyrocket," says the narrator of the ad, while pictures of acting-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D), Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D), and Thompson flash across the screen. Polling in the race has been sparse, and in both polls (one an automated PPP poll, the other a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (D) poll conducted for Tennant), Perdue runs third behind Tomblin and Tennant. The primary is May 14, and the latest campaign finance reports are due Friday. 3:45 p.m. CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly identified one of the candidates running ahead of Perdue in recent polling. That candidate is acting-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
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