Former state Sen. David Rouzer, a Republican running in North Carolina's open 7th District, went up on air last week with his first ad of the cycle.
The ad will air district-wide on cable and on broadcast in the Wilmington market, according to Rouzer's campaign.
"I've put more than three hundred thousand miles on this truck. Most days I'm visiting with folks in small businesses. They're worried about our future, and they should be," Rouzer says in the ad.
In 2012, Rouzer came within 700 votes of defeating Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., in this district, which GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won by a 19-point margin that same year. Rouzer announced a rematch with McIntyre shortly after the 2012 race.
But McIntyre announced his retirement earlier this year, and now the next member will most likely be decided in the GOP primary. On May 6, Rouzer will face off with New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White.
GOP operatives in North Carolina say White is running as the "outsider" candidate in the race. But operatives note that White's entrance into the race at the end of December may have been too late to challenge Rouzer's familiarity with voters in the district, thanks in part to his previous bid.
Democrats are unlikely to make this race competitive in the November elections.
North Carolina's 7th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.