For Republican George Allen, the general election campaign for U.S. Senate in Virginia has officially begun.
Mr. Allen on Thursday unveiled his first two television ads and the statewide six-figure ad campaign will run on cable throughout the summer.
The campaign also announced the “Virginia Voices” effort, a multi-tiered online outreach effort that includes a new website, as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The first two ads, titled “Dorothy” and “Betsy,” are testimonials from two women who know Mr. Allen well — Dorothy Jaeckle, Vice Chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, and Betsy Beamer, who served as Secretary of the Commonwealth when Mr. Allen was governor.
In contrast to the blistering (and largely false) attack ads being run by third-party groups against Mr. Allen's opponent, Democrat Tim Kaine, the two ads announced by the campaign Thursday are quite positive, showing a smiling Mr. Allen talking with women and playing with children.
“George Allen's running for this Senate seat for the right reasons,” Ms. Beamer says in one of the spots. “He wants to have a better future for our kids and there is no better reason. George Allen's a good man, a good husband, a good father, he's a good listener, he's the real deal.”
Mr. Kaine's campaign immediately pounced on the ads, labeling them an attempt to distract voters from Mr. Allen's record.
“Virginians don't need TV ads to tell them what kind of senator George Allen would be – they already know,” said Brandi Hoffine, a spokeswoman for Mr. Kaine's campaign. “During his last term in the Senate, George Allen advocated policies that took us from record surpluses to massive deficits, tax breaks for wealthy oil companies over investments in education, and voted four times to raise his own pay while helping to create our economic mess.”
The two candidates are scheduled to participate in a forum June 28 co-hosted by the Northern Virginia Technology Council and Microsoft in which they will appear separately and answer questions from local technology leaders on tech and business policies. The event is scheduled to take place at Microsoft's offices in Reston.
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