Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is launching a television ad in Maryland that features the daughter of Eric Garner. It's the first presidential campaign to go up on the air in the state.
The ad focuses on Erica Garner, the daughter of the New York man who died after being placed in a choke hold by New York City police in 2014. The message has the potential to carry particular resonance in Baltimore, where the death of Freddie Gray a year ago prompted a national conversation about police practices in black communities.
"I got to see my dad die on national TV," Erica Garner says in the ad. "People are dying. We need a president that's going to talk about it. I believe Bernie Sanders is a protester. He's not scared to go up against the criminal justice system."
The Sanders campaign did not disclose the extent of its investment in the ad, though initial public filings with the Federal Communications Commission show the campaign spent roughly $50,000 on airtime Monday in the Baltimore market. There are no filings listed in the Washington, D.C., market that covers Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
Sanders' ad marks the first time a presidential campaign has gone on the air in Maryland ahead of the state's April 26 primary (early voting begins on Thursday) -- and it comes as candidates from both parties are beginning to ramp up in the state. Sanders' rival, front runner Hillary Clinton, spoke at a rally in Baltimore on Sunday, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich has scheduled a visit to Howard County on Wednesday.