Gubernatorial hopefuls release new campaign ads

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — With about a month to go until the primary elections, some candidates for governor are turning up the volume with TV ads.

One takes a jab at the current president. Another features a former president.

Democrat Tom Perriello’s latest ad is timely. Just minutes after House republicans passed a measure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Perriello’s campaign released an ad showing an ambulance being crushed. It’s been viewed more than 60,000 times already.

“Republican leaders are trying to do this to affordable health care,” Perriello shouts over the noise as the vehicle is being destroyed behind him.

He notes he voted for Obamacare “because it was wrong that a million Virginians weren’t covered, while insurance companies held all the power.”

Former President Barack Obama makes an appearance in another campaign ad Perriello released earlier this week.

It features Obama and Perriello side by side as the then-president was campaigning for him in 2010.

“Tom went to Washington to take on the insurance companies and the credit card companies and the Wall Street banks,” Obama tells the crowd from a podium. “That’s what Tom Perriello is about.”

After the ad was released, Republican National Committee spokesman Garren Shipley questioned it, saying in a release:

Tom Perriello’s new TV ad is fascinating. The Tom Perriello on stage with Barack Obama opposed an assault weapons ban, was endorsed by the NRA, voted for the Stupak amendment, and was open to having pro-life Democrats in his party. I can’t help but wonder if President Obama would even recognize the Tom Perriello running for Governor.”

Perriello’s Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, also released two new ads this week. They highlight his work as a pediatrician, senator and lieutenant governor.

In the ad, Northam says he took on the fight for an assault weapons ban and to close the gun show loophole.

He also takes a dig at President Donald Trump.

“I’m listening carefully to Donald Trump, and I think he’s a narcissistic maniac,” Northam says. “Whatever you call him, we’re not letting him bring his hate into Virginia.”

Last week, Northam’s campaign announced a “substantial, six-figure buy across Virginia for its ad “Making Progress Every Day.”

On the Republican side, no mention of President Trump.

Ed Gillespie released his first television ad this week. It focuses on what he wants to do for Virginia’s economy.

The ad opens with a narrator referencing Gillespie’s plans for “the first income tax rate cut in 45 years” plus the creation of “53,000 new jobs.”

Gillespie’s tax plan is the centerpiece of his agenda.

His team says it’ll mean nearly $1,300 in disposable income for the average family of four.

“The ad demonstrates Ed’s commitment to putting forward bold policy proposals that will grow our economy and help create new, good paying jobs all across Virginia,” said campaign manager Chris Leavitt. 

The two other Republicans in the race — Frank Wagner and Corey Stewart — have no new TV ads airing. But both took the time this week to critique Gillespie’s tax plan.

In a release sent out after Gillespie’s ad debuted, Stewart called the tax plan “phony,” saying it’s based on future revenues.

“Gillespie’s make-believe tax plan is especially laughable given he doesn’t plan to cut spending,” Stewart said in the release.

Wagner questioned whether the plan would really put nearly $1,300 a year back in the pocket of Virginia’s families. Wagner says, based on his projections, it would only be $390.

Stewart’s and Wagner’s campaigns say TV ads are in their future.