- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - U.S. Sen. David Vitter, sitting on the largest campaign account in the Louisiana governor’s race, is finally pumping some of the money into TV advertising.

The Republican candidate launches his first 30-second TV ad Thursday, the second gubernatorial contender to do so.

Vitter’s ad, posted online in advance, contrasts Louisiana’s problems of today, with Vitter’s suggestions for improving them. He talks of eliminating waste in state government, expanding skills training for workers and raising public school teacher pay.

At the end of the ad, Vitter walks from a dark shadow near the Louisiana Capitol into a bright, sunny neighborhood as he says, “Join me in a much brighter tomorrow.”

Campaign spokesman Luke Bolar said the spot will run in every market across the state, on both network and cable channels. He wouldn’t provide the size of the ad buy besides calling it “significant.”

The election is Oct. 24. Four major candidates are in the race, including Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards.

Angelle, a state utility regulator, is the only other candidate to run TV ads so far. He rolled out his first ad months ago, trying to build name recognition. His latest 30-second spot, unveiled Wednesday, has Angelle talking of the need to protect “religious freedom.” Another Angelle ad released earlier this week features the candidate describing a need to bolster state worker training programs.

More advertising is expected to roll out near the Labor Day holiday and around the candidate sign-up period Sept. 8-10.

Vitter is sitting on $5 million in his campaign account, compared to nearly $1.9 million for Dardenne, nearly $1.1 million for Edwards and just over $1 million for Angelle, according to the most recent fundraising reports.

A separate political action committee created to boost Vitter’s candidacy also reported $4.4 million in its account.

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