Maryland: Harris Airs 3 New Ads in Fight With Kratovil

Posted October 29, 2008 at 6:39pm

While Democrat Frank Kratovil has made outgoing Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest a staple feature of his television commercials in the Eastern Shore-based 1st district, his opponent, state Sen. Andy Harris (R), has increasingly turned to another well-known Republican, former Gov. Bob Ehrlich.

Ehrlich began appearing in two new ads running statewide for Harris this week. In one of those ads, Ehrlich appeals directly to Democrats and independents, calling Harris “an independent voice with sound fiscal ideas. A reformer we can trust.”

A third new ad out this week from Harris features Republicans, independents and Democrats describing Kratovil as a “tax-and-spend liberal” whose views are more in line with Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley than the people of the 1st district.

Harris’ late campaign ads come as Kratovil continues to tout his endorsement by Gilchrest, a well-known moderate whom Harris beat in the GOP primary earlier this year. Kratovil, who serves as state’s attorney for Queen Anne’s County, wants to be seen as a tough-on-crime fiscal conservative who would be an independent voice for the conservative 1st district. His ads have often featured Republicans who say they are crossing party lines to vote for him this year.

Along with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — which has dumped more than $1.6 million for television ads in the 1st district to support Kratovil and oppose Harris — another major outside player in the 1st district race has been the anti-tax group Club for Growth.

The Club for Growth’s political arm upped its ad buy from $100,000 to $200,000 on Tuesday to continue to air two ads in the Baltimore and Salisbury media markets. The Club for Growth was a major supporter of Harris in the GOP primary race and dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars in that contest in its effort to defeat Gilchrest.