John Delaney, a Democratic candidate in Maryland's competitive 6th Congressional District, began running his first television advertisement Wednesday, a cable spot that highlights his middle-class roots, business background and focus on jobs.
The advertisement begins with a picture of his father, who Delaney describes as a "union electrician," and he points out that he went to college with the help of a "union scholarship." He notes that he founded a business, a Chevy-chase bank, that he says creates jobs "by providing financing to small companies Wall Street ignored."
In the 30-second spot, which is largely introductory, Delaney argues that Congress is now ignoring the nation's high unemployment. "My dad the electrician taught me, if something's broken, get in there and try to fix it," Delaney concludes.
The ad is running on cable, which is far less pricey than the broadcast ads the campaigns will likely have to buy in the Washington media market in the coming months. The Democratic primary race also features State Sen. Rob Garagiola and three other candidates. The district is currently held by Rep.Roscoe G. Bartlett, a 10-term Republican who is seeking reelection.
Delaney's ad does not make reference to Garagiola or Bartlett.
Delaney's focus on his history with labor groups comes on the same day that Garagiola was expected to land an endorsement from the powerful AFSCME Maryland union. Garagiola already has the support of the Service Employees International Union and the National Education Association. Those endorsements are key because they can bring with them considerable money and organizational support.
Though it's still early for television ads -- the primary is set for April 3 and the pace of advertising is likely to pick up in March -- Delaney is not the first 6th District candidate to run a cable TV spot. Republican businessman Brandon Rippeon has been on TV almost continuously since November.