Kentucky's Republican gubernatorial primary is getting ready to jump up a notch.
Louisville businessman Matt Bevin released his first television ad Thursday and a group called Kentuckians for Growth, Opportunity and Prosperity is preparing to buy between $450,000 and $475,000 of television advertising in support of Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.
Bevin's campaign said the ad, featuring his wife and children talking about his values and character, will air on broadcast TV in the Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati and Bowling Green and southeastern Kentucky markets, and statewide on cable and satellite networks. A news release from the campaign didn't say how much it is spending to air the ad or when it would begin airing.
"If there's one thing you should know about my husband, Matt Bevin, it's that he leads by example," says Glenna Bevin in the ad.
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Meanwhile, the super PAC supporting Comer will begin running its ad about the time of the men's NCAA championship basketball game Monday and continue through April 27, according to Kathryn Breiwa, a spokeswoman for the group. The ads will run in the Lexington, Louisville and Bowling Green markets, Breiwa said.
The ad features stock footage of Comer at his campaign unveiling in Tompkinsville last September.
"We need a bold leader like James Comer," the narrator says in the ad. "A conservative Republican with experience trimming government fat and increasing economic growth. And when he fights the Obama administration, he wins."
Richard Knock, chairman of the group, said in a statement that his group "is firmly committed to James Comer."
"Our steering committee and our donors believe he is the best candidate for governor, and we are going to do what it takes to make sure voters know that," Knock said.
Terry Stephens, a member of the steering committee, said that "over a friendship of 20 years, I've come to know James Comer's integrity and commitment to move Kentucky forward is second to none."
"Considering the challenges our commonwealth currently faces, we need James Comer's leadership," Stephens said.
Stephens is the stepfather of Robyn Edmonds Williams, the ex-wife of former state Senate president David Williams.
When Williams ran for governor in 2011, Stephens, the owner of Stephens Pipe and Steel in Russell Springs, contributed more than $4 million to the losing effort.
Other candidates in the May 19 Republican primary for governor are Louisville businessmen Hal Heiner and retired Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott.
At the end of last year, the most recent time candidates had to disclose their campaign donors, Heiner had reported raising $4.6 million, most of it from himself. Comer had raised $1.1 million. Bevin and Scott had not yet entered the race at the time.