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Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) will re-air an ad he ran in his first Congressional bid in 1996, which looks strikingly similar to one currently on the air for the Republican running in the 1st district special.
Blumenauer announced the replaying of the ad in Portland, a city split between the 1st district and Blumenauer’s 3rd district.
“Rob Cornilles appears confused about his extreme Tea Party positions and trick Oregonians into thinking he is a moderate," Blumenauer said in a statement released by his campaign. "I am re-airing this ad because Oregon voters should know the real Rob Cornilles — a Tea Party Republican wrapped in moderate clothing."
Cornilles, who lost to Democrat David Wu last year and is now running to succeed him, launched his “Running” TV ad Tuesday. Blumenauer’s “Running” ad aired for the first time during his 1996 special election campaign to replace now-Sen. Ron Wyden (D) in the House.
Blumenauer's ad was slightly adjusted for the re-air, including a note at the top of the screen indicating it originally ran in 1996 and a message at the end: "I'm Earl Blumenauer and I still approve this message."
In response to Blumenauer's announcement, Cornilles invited Blumenauer to join him in a run along the Willamette River in Portland on Saturday at noon. He proposed starting at the Salmon Street Springs Fountain.
A Cornilles spokeswoman said showing a candidate running was admittedly not the most unique ad strategy, but she said the campaign hadn’t been aware of Blumenauer’s ad, which ran 15 years ago. It's also garnered the campaign more exposure.
Cornilles will likely need to win some moderate Democratic voters to win the Jan. 31 special in this traditionally Democratic district, and he's tailored a message that he hopes allows him to do that. National Democrats are hopeful the Blumenauer message helps ensure Cornilles, who had $422,000 in cash on hand as of Thursday, doesn't pull that off.
Cornilles is expected to take the GOP nomination easily on Nov. 8, when voting in the all-mail primary ends. On the Democratic side, state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici has held large leads in two recent polls against state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and state Rep. Brad Witt.
Watch the ads: