Wisconsin Democratic Assembly members Mark Pocan and Kelda Helen Roys launched their first major TV ads this week in the race to succeed Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in the state's 2nd district. The spots for both candidates are positive portrayals of themselves and both avoid taking on their opponent directly.
Pocan's ad, which is part of a more than $55,000 broadcast and cable buy, portrays the him as someone whose political leadership has been influenced by his own experience with business.
"My parents taught me how to run a business and how to treat employees and customer fairly," Pocan says in the ad. "I practice those lessons everyday in my own union print shop."
Roys released two ads that will play in rotation on broadcast and cable portraying her as willing to stand up to the establishment. The value of the Roys ad buy is roughly equal to the Pocan buy, according to a Wisconsin Democratic operative with knowledge of the campaigns.
"When [Gov.] Scott Walker wanted tax breaks for wealthy corporations, most legislators went along. I stood up to him," says Roys in one ad. "In Congress, I'll stand up to anyone and fight for equal pay, for reproductive rights and to protect Social Security."
Madison, the heart of the 2nd district, is among the state's most Democratic areas. The winner of the Democratic primary is all but certain to be elected to Congress in the fall.
Clarification: An earlier version of this post misstated the nature of the TV ad buys.