Kathleen Matthews, the former news anchor who is seeking the Democratic nomination in Maryland's 8th Congressional District, will run the first television ad of any candidate in the state this year -- and she's choosing a particularly high-profile event to make the debut.
Matthews will run the spot on Fox News during the GOP presidential primary debate on Thursday night, her campaign said. The debate, the first of the 2016 cycle, is likely to draw a big audience of Republicans and also Democrats.
"Watching the Republicans run for president makes me proud to be a Democrat," Matthews says in the ad, according to a transcript provided by the campaign. "As the Republican debate shows, their policies undermine the middle class and divide America."
It is remarkably early for television advertising in a House contest -- and Matthews' cable-only buy appears to be limited. Asked about the extent of the campaign's financial commitment, a Matthews aide said only that the ad will run during the debate and subsequent coverage on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.
Matthews' husband, Chris Matthews, is a well known MSNBC personality.
Still, the move itself will earn Matthews some attention, and will introduce her campaign to a politically tuned-in audience.
The ad is intended to reach Democrats who will be watching "the fireworks of the Republican debate," campaign manager Ethan Susseles said. The debate is expected to draw a large audience -- especially of political insiders -- because it is the first in a crowded, raucous campaign for the GOP nomination.
The fact that front runner Donald Trump -- and his proclivity for bomb throwing -- will be on display doesn't hurt, either.
Matthews is running for the seat held by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is a candidate for Senate. She and state Sen. Jamie Raskin have, so far, eclipsed other Democrats in the race for campaign cash.
Other candidates include Dels. Kumar Barve and Ana Sol Gutierrez, former Montgomery County Council president Valerie Ervin, former Obama administration aide Will Jawando and David M. Anderson, a senior vice president at the Washington Center.