Raleigh, N.C. — Thom Tillis will begin running the second television advertisement of his U.S. Senate campaign next week, once again highlighting his business background.
Unlike his first ad, Tillis does not name Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in the spot. Rather, he references the "train wreck in Washington."
The 30-second spot is mainly biographical and does not reference the fact that Tillis is one of eight Republicans – or what party he belongs to – running for the chance to challenge Hagan. Tillis has been the GOP front-runner in early polling and fundraising but has not pulled far enough away from the field to make him a prohibitive favorite come May 6.
The most likely candidates to catch Tillis, or at least force a runoff, are Dr. Greg Brannon of Cary and Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte.
Tillis will spend just over $1 million to put the ad on cable and on broadcast television in certain markets.
Although this is in some respects a limited ad buy, none of the other Republican candidates have begun airing their own ads yet. However, on the same day Tillis announced his ad, Brannon did land an endorsement from Utah Sen. Mike Lee. Lee, like Brannon, is a favorite of the tea party wing of the Republican Party.
As for Tillis, it's also worth noting that his commercial doesn't mention that he is in his second term as state House speaker, one of the two most influential legislative positions in the state. Rather, he mentions working as a short-order cook at 15 and the fact he put off college until later in life, eventually rising to become a partner at IBM.
Democrats pounced on the omission of his legislative service in their response to the ad Thursday.
"Tillis talks about opportunity, but his record in the General Assembly, on which he has promised he will run, and his policy positions tell a much different story," said Sadie Weiner, a spokeswoman for Hagan.