Democrats Jack Connelly and Jeannie Darneille each released new TV spots this week, as campaign advertising has escalated in their well-moneyed race for Tacoma’s state senate seat with just over a month to go before Election Day.
Connelly’s TV spot, which aired during Monday Night Football on ESPN this week, features two Tacoma educators who support Connelly and criticizes Darneille for voting “to cut over $4 billion from the education fund.” The ad cites the last two state operating budgets (and supplemental operating budgets) approved by the Legislature as sources for the claim.
“Tacoma’s kids deserve a great education,” Connelly says as the commerical closes. “Help me work to see that they get one.”
Darneille’s spot, which questions Connelly’s stances on women’s reproductive rights and marriage equality issues, features several prominent area politicians to contrast Darneille’s position from Connelly’s on abortion and same-sex marriage. It quotes from this News Tribune blog post to source the claim, ”Darneille supports abortion rights and same sex marriage; Connelly does not.”
“She’s 100 percent pro-choice and she voted yes for marriage equality,” current 27th District Sen. Debbie Regala concludes in the commercial.
The new ads come after Connelly’s barrage of mailers and TV spots in recent weeks that attack Darneille’s voting record on public safety issues during her 12 years in the state House.
Connelly, a prominent trial lawyer, contends those ads show Darneille has consistently voted to defend criminals’ rights at the expense of public safety, while Darneille counters the ads intentionally mislead voters by leaving out legislative nuances associated with her policy-making actions.
Darneille bested Connelly in the August primary 58 to 42 percent, but that hasn’t stopped Connelly from continuing to pour his own money into the campaign.
The latest state finance reports show Connelly has raised more than $646,000 — about $571,000 of which came out of his own pocket. Meantime Darneille has raised about $201,000 — none of it her own — from various individuals and interest groups, records show.