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Jim Shea, Democratic candidate for governor, begins statewide ad campaign

With a plan of running campaign ads non-stop until the primary election next month, Democratic candidate for goverrnor Jim Shea released his first TV ad Friday.

The 60-second spot introduces Shea — who is the former chairman of the state’s largest law firm but largely unknown outside the legal community — to voters. It emphasizes his experience as chairman of the Maryland Board of Regents, which runs the state’s colleges, as well as his work with small businesses and on transportation issues.

“My highest priority will be to return Maryland to the top,” Shea says in the ad.

The ad campaign begins airing on statewide cable and on the Baltimore and Salisbury broadcast network affiliates Saturday. The ad buy is for hundreds of thousands of dollars of air time through the end of the month, though the campaign didn’t give a specific amount.

“This first ad to introduce Jim Shea to Marylanders across the state is just the beginning,’ Campaign manager Brian Doory said in a statement. “We will keep up the momentum through the primary to share Jim Shea and Brandon Scott’s vision of inclusive growth for all Marylanders.”

Shea has among the most campaign money in the primary race, reporting $1.3 million on hand— including more than $500,000 he contributed personally.

The ad will make Shea the second gubernatorial candidate up on Baltimore’s airwaves.

Democrat Ben Jealous, the former president of the NAACP, on Tuesday became the first candidate running for Maryland governor to broadcast ads on all four major television stations in the Baltimore market, pitching himself as an accomplished activist. Records show the campaign spent about $90,000 purchasing ads on four Baltimore stations.

State Sen. Richard Madaleno has run ads in Montgomery County.

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