The two major parties’ all-but-certain nominees for Arizona governor are now both on the air with their first television commercials. Each ad is positive in tone and lacking the hard-edged sparring likely to emerge before long.
Democrat Terry Goddard’s first television ad went on the air and cable on Wednesday in the Phoenix and Tucson areas at a cost of $275,000, according to his campaign. Republican incumbent Jan Brewer’s spot went last week in the Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma television markets plus rural cable outlets in a $205,000 buy, a spokesman said.
Both 30-second ads are expected to run up to Tuesday’s primary election.
Goddard, the state attorney general is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Brewer faces little-known moderate Matthew Jette in the Republican primary. Businessman Buz Mills also is on the ballot but he suspended his campaign about a month ago. State Treasurer Dean Martin’s name also will appear on the Republican ballot, but he has withdrawn and any votes cast for him won’t count.
Goddard’s ad has Goddard talking about what he’s done as attorney general and what he’d do as governor, all in fairly general terms. He cites his current office’s targeting of meth dealers, drug cartels and payday lenders. “As your governor, I’ll continue the fight,” the on-screen Goddard said, listing a to-do list of creating jobs, stopping partisan bickering and balancing the state budget.
It closes with Goddard walking with his wife and son.
Brewer has run an aggressive online video campaign for months, with 16 You Tube postings, including several criticizing and even mocking President Barack Obama’s administration on border security and health care.
But the one also getting air time is focused on what Brewer has done in her nearly 19 months as governor on concerns such as education funding and job creation and what she’d do if elected to a full four-year term.
Titled on her own Web site as “Governor Jan Brewer: Getting the Job Done,” the spot now being aired opens with artwork depicting Brewer as Rosie the Riveter, the World War II factory worker. It features a fast-paced montage of brief testimonials and fleeting images that touch on budget and jobs concerns.
“I think she’s the right person here, and she cares about Arizona,” former Attorney General Grant Woods, a co-chairman of Brewer’s election campaign, said in the spot.
Barbara Norrander, a University of Arizona political science professor who specializes in elections, said the initial ads by Brewer and Goddard reflect a fairly standard approach in which candidates start with biographical advertisements “trying to develop a positive image of themselves.”
“The focus is on past accomplishments, character and values,” Norrander said. “After the biographical ads, candidates then move on to issue ads and comparative ads” that attack an opponents’ positions.
Brewer and Goddard have already split on the state’s partially blocked law cracking down on illegal immigration and steps taken to balance the state’s budget. And the recent escapes from a privately operated state prison in Kingman could become an issue.
Brewer and Goddard are both running with public funding, receiving $707,000 for their respective primary election campaigns. The general election nominees get just over $1 million, though there also likely will be independent expenditures by outside groups for or against candidates.