Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, now a GOP candidate for governor, used his first television ad of the election cycle to take on immigration, the “gay lobby” and liberal judges.
The 30-second ad, which began airing today on broadcast television statewide, mostly touts Thomas’ attempts at enforcing immigration during his tenure as Maricopa County Attorney. Alongside Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Thomas made a name for himself by taking a hard line against immigration along the Arizona-Mexico border.
The ad begins with shots of Thomas speaking with voters, as a male voiceover claims that “conservatives are backing Andrew Thomas for governor because he’s the only candidate who has stopped illegal immigration, stood up to the gay lobby and opposed liberal judges.”
“When I enforced the law, illegal immigrants fled this state,” Thomas said, speaking directly to the camera while flanked by a mostly elderly, white crowd. “Now they stay and protest.”
“Other candidates say they’ll secure the border, but talk is cheap,” Thomas said while stepping up onto a small bridge adjacent to a small putting green.
The ad then cuts to a shot of Thomas pointing to a rough outline of Arizona, drawn on a large sketch pad, with what appear to be silhouettes of soldiers or border patrol agents standing at attention along a line drawn across the Arizona-Mexico border.
Words written on the sketch pad call it “The Patton Line.”
“I stopped illegal immigration before. As governor, I’ll do it again. This time for good,” Thomas said in a voiceover.
The ad ends with a blue screen and another silhouette of the state of Arizona, as a Mexican flag rises up from the south and fills the state. A red line then pops up, crossing out the emblem on the Mexican flag, as the male voice encourages viewers to “Vote Andrew Thomas for governor, before it’s too late.”
Thomas spent roughly $115,000 on broadcast stations and $94,000 on cable to air the ad, which will run at least through August 13. The ad is the latest in a recent surge of spending for Thomas, who also sent out a mailer to Republican voters statewide hailing himself as a true conservative and blasting his opponents as moderates.
The disbarred former county attorney is running a Clean Elections funded campaign, with roughly $753,000 to spend during the primary election.
Thomas did not respond to a request for comment.
Thomas is one of six candidates for the GOP nomination for governor, running against Secretary of State Ken Bennett, state Treasurer Doug Ducey, former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones, former California Congressman Frank Riggs and former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.