Democrat Jerry Brown launches first TV ads


With the ad, the Jerry Brown for Governor campaign officially hits the airwaves. The 30-second television spot touts Brown's 40-year career in California politics and his vision for the future.

At a campaign stop in Fairfield, Brown said he plans to keep his ads focused on him, at least for now.

"The fact that this race is so close tells me that they're not listening to the other side right now, so there's an openness to hear what I have to say," Brown said.

Brown's TV ad debut coincides with his appearance at a major labor picnic in Oakland.

"I think that he's made it very clear that he expects the union bosses to carry the negative message against Meg Whitman," Former Calif. GOP chair Duf Sundheim said. "You've seen it with the events he's had this weekend, he's really relying on the union bosses to hold him up."

Whitman's campaign has spent more than $100 million so far. Some of her ads celebrate Whitman's accomplishments as CEO of eBay and play to the Republican base. Many others attack Brown.

In a close race, some strategists wonder if Brown should have released his TVspots sooner. Others think his timing is just right.

"Jerry Brown is coming in right when voters are kind of ready to start paying attention; they're just starting to think about the election," Menlo College political science professor Melissa Michelson said.

And with two months to go, there is still plenty of time to change the message.

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