Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch released her first TV ad in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District special election on Thursday, highlighting her business experience and record of creating jobs in the state. "I'm not going to talk about the jobs that we lost; I know what it takes to create new jobs," she says.
The ad focuses on Colbert Busch's work with the Palmetto State's ports and at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, all of which are major job creators in the district, while acknowledging the area's strong military presence with its music and effects.
It does not, however, mention her party or any typically Democratic issues. That's a smart move in a district that President Obama lost by 18 points. But in spite of the benefits she's reaped from being related to comedian Stephen Colbert, including a few high-profile fundraisers in the state and in New York City, Colbert Busch's time in the spotlight may have hurt her ability to introduce herself on her own terms.
Colbert Busch's campaign declined to discuss any specifics of the ad buy, including where and how long the ad is running, and how much the campaign paid for the spot.
The ad comes less than two weeks before the March 19 Republican primary, in which 16 of her opponents will battle for a spot in an almost-guaranteed runoff on April 2; a candidate would need fifty percent plus one vote to avoid the runoff, an unlikely outcome in a such a crowded field. One of the runoff candidates is almost guaranteed to be former Gov. Mark Sanford, whose name recognition far outpaces the other candidates', leaving 15 Republicans vying for the second spot.
Colbert Busch will face perennial candidate Ben Frasier in the Democratic primary on the same day, and is widely expected to proceed to the general election, set for May 7. The Green Party will nominate a candidate for the May election as well and will make their choice at a party convention on Saturday.
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