Republican Mick Mulvaney debuted his first television ad this week, marking a new phase in his campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. John Spratt.
The 30-second spot shows a denim-clad Mulvaney walking with his wife, Pam, and photos of the couple with their triplets. Then the ad shifts to Mulvaney's opposition to the health care bill.
"We're not going to let the government control our health care because it doesn't stop at health care. And it doesn't just mean health care. It means jobs," Mulvaney says in his new ad. "I've got employers that say we can't afford to stay in business."
The Spratt campaign said its own TV ads are in production and will hit the airwaves soon. A spokesman declined to give specifics.
Mulvaney, a state senator from Indian Land, has made the health care bill a central issue in his bid to unseat Spratt, a 28-year incumbent Democrat from York who is chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Spratt says health care reform will trim billions from the federal deficit over the long term and provide more affordable coverage for millions of Americans.
The Mulvaney campaign did not have exact figures but said the cost of the ad buy was "in the six figures." The ad will air for 14 days on broadcast and cable television across the 14-county district, the campaign said.
"This ad is the first step in educating voters about the conservative principles that I stand for," Mulvaney said. "And it starts a discussion about how that differs with Mr. Spratt's voting record."
In an e-mail to supporters Tuesday, Spratt said he expects to face negative attacks from his opponent. He said Mulvaney "is focusing his campaign on negative, Washington-style ads that attack my record in Congress."
Spratt and Mulvaney will meet in their first debate Tuesday at a River Hills Lions Club meeting in Lake Wylie. The event is sold out, organizers said, with 220 tickets claimed shortly after they became available.