LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ Republican and Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate have both taken to the television airwaves for the general election.
Republican John Boozman launched his first television ad of the general election Sept. 13, and Monday, he launched a second ad. The campaign spent $300,000 on each of the two statewide ad buys, according to Chris Caldwell, Boozman’s campaign manager.
Democrat Conner Eldridge, who had no primary opponent, launched his first television ad Friday, spokesman Graham Senor said Monday. He declined to say how much the campaign spent to air the ad in central and northwest Arkansas.
Boozman, who also faces a challenge from Libertarian Frank Gilbert, does not mention his opponents in either of his ads. The first ad highlights Boozman’s travels around the state, and the second focuses on national security and veterans.
“These are dangerous times, and the growing strength of ISIS remains the top threat to our safety,” a voice-over says in the 30-second spot over images of members of the militant group known as the Islamic State. “John Boozman is dedicated to giving our military the support they need to wipe them off the map.”
The ad then shows Boozman talking to veterans as the voice-over says he also works to help veterans get good medical care and find jobs.
Eldridge’s ad focuses on Boozman and his refusal to date to agree to more than one debate with Eldridge. The 30-second spot shows Eldridge, former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, driving a flatbed pickup with two lecterns fixed to the bed.
“We built this debate truck because I’ll debate John Boozman anytime, anywhere, but no one one can find him,” Eldridge says in the ad. “He’s been to 53 countries on the taxpayer dime, but (some) Arkansas counties have no record of him ever showing up.”
Eldridge also accuses Boozman of “phoning it in,” saying that in 14 years in the House and Senate he has passed only five bills, all of them to rename post offices.
Caldwell said Monday when asked about Eldridge’s ad, “What’s evidently clear is that our opponent thinks he will be able to use his family of millionaires and political connections to get this job. While our opponent spent five years serving President Obama and the last year running a negative campaign, John Boozman has been fighting for Arkansas: farmers, veterans and children of this state. John Boozman represents Arkansas and its values. All his opponent has ever done is represent the Obama administration.”
The election will be Nov. 8.