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MI-Gov: Political group supporting Dem. Gretchen Whitmer launches $1.8 million campaign ad

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Allies of Michigan gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer launched a $1.8 million television campaign ad on Tuesday.

What's the background?

Whitmer, who is also a former state senator and Ingham County prosecuting attorney, is one of three Democrats vying for governor.

Whitmer is running against former Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion Executive Director Abdul El-Sayed, and author and entrepreneur Shri Thanedar.

In March, the Detroit Metro Times reported that Whitmer is the establishment favorite, and Time reported in May that she is “widely considered the Democratic frontrunner.”

An April poll from the Glengariff Group has Thanedar currently favored to win the party nomination at 30 percent. Whitmer is at 26 percent, and El-Sayed sits at 7 percent.

What about the ad?

On Tuesday,  The Associated Press reported that the $1.8 million TV ad will run for five weeks, and was paid for by a nonprofit political group backing Whitmer's run, Build a Better Michigan.

According to the AP, this is the first time Whitmer will appeal to viewers prior to the Aug. 7 primary election.

In the ad, which runs 30 seconds, Whitmer  says she "fought for working families" while working in the state Senate.

During her time in the Senate, Whitmer helped raise the state minimum wage and expanded Medicaid health insurance to over 600,000 residents, according to the report.

"Working hard and making things, it's what we do in Michigan," she says in the video.

In the video, Whitmer cautions that there's so much more to be done.

"Like invest in skills training, and repeal the retirement tax so that hard-working people earn more and keep more of what they earn," she added, pointing to a 2011 state tax code overhaul which eliminated an exemption on pension income.

"Let's get it done," Whitmer concludes in her ad.

According to The Detroit News' Jonathan Oosting, Mark Burton, who heads Build a Better Michigan, said the nonprofit group has plans to "front-load the ad campaign by spending roughly $500,000 in each of the next two weeks."

The group plans to spend at least $1.8 million on broadcast and cable TV ads over five weeks, "but obviously if fundraising continues to go well, that potentially could be expanded,'" Burton said in the News report.

Anything else?

In comparison, fellow candidate Thanedar has spent an estimated $1.9 million on televised ads, according to The Detroit Times.

El-Sayed, also vying for the Democratic nomination, reportedly spent about $35,000 in broadcast ads through last week.

The primary for the governor's race is Aug. 7.

One last thing…
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