Connecticut gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley is already airing campaign ads on TV—but not in his home state.
The 2010 Republican nominee, who is exploring another bid for the state's top office, launched the first TV spot of the 2014 Nutmeg State race on Monday. The ad, which is running only on cable in New York City, invites city residents wary of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's progressive policies to consider moving to Connecticut next year when the state "will probably elect a new governor."
The spot opens with an image of a recent New York Post cover that put de Blasio's face next to a Soviet hammer and sickle. "Hey, New York City," Foley says while talking directly to the camera. "With your new mayor, I know many of you are thinking about leaving. Connecticut, with the same progressive policies you're about to see in your city, may not be first on your mind. But wait a second. Connecticut next year will probably elect a new governor. When it does, Connecticut once again will be the place that people want to be in the Northeast."
The "small" ad buy was scheduled to begin Monday on Fox News Channel and NY1 in New York City, according to the Hartford Courant. The unusual tactic of running the ad out of state speaks to what is probably Foley's true aim: Generating a lot of attention and raising money as a result.
So far, it has worked, at least in the attention department: Foley's ad generated coverage late Monday in outlets throughout Connecticut and New York. Asked Tuesday if he was concerned the strategy might backfire, Foley laughed and simply said, "No."
Foley lost to Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy by just 1 percentage point in 2010, and Republicans are hopeful that Malloy's mediocre polling numbers give them a solid chance to knock him off next year. But Foley faces a crowded GOP primary field, with state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, state Sen. Toni Boucher, and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who was Foley's running mate in 2010, all readying campaigns of their own.