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Rep. Chris Van Hollen back on the air in Baltimore

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., speaks as Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., speaks as Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press file)

Rep. Chris Van Hollen's campaign for Senate is back on the air Wednesday with a new advertisement that comes after a series of polls show the race for Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's seat is a tossup.

The Montgomery County Democrat has purchased more than $34,000 in airtime on Baltimore broadcast television, according to contracts posted on the Federal Communications Commission website. That number likely does not reflect the extent of the campaign's investment.

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The ad is broadly similiar to an earlier introductory spot, but now notes that Van Hollen received the Washington Post's endorsement over the weekend.

Van Hollen's decision to go back on the air follows an announcement Tuesday that a super PAC supporting his main opponent, Rep. Donna F. Edwards, will spend another $1 million on the race -- bringing that group's commitment to about $2.4 million. Women Vote!, which is affilated with Washington-based Emily's List, has spent more on the race so far than Van Hollen.

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The increasingly aggressive air campaign by both sides comes after several polls have put the race within the margin of error. The most recent survey, released by Gonzales Research on Tuesday, found Edwards and Van Hollen statsitically tied with 15 percent of voters undecided.

Van Hollen campaign aides declined to discuss specifics about the new advertisement. The posted contracts show the campaign has reserved air time through this weekend.

"Chris is a progressive leader who gets results -- as the Washington Post wrote in their recent endorsement, Chris is a 'real force of accomplishment' and Donna Edwards is 'part of the problem in Washington,'" Van Hollen spokeswoman Bridgett Frey said in a statement.

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