Political Insider

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Jason Carter's two-pronged response to GOP ad assault

Jason Carter's campaign this morning unleashed a double-barreled response to the first wave of attack ads aimed at derailing his gubernatorial bid.

The Atlanta Democrat released a pair of statewide ads this morning that seek to position him as an education-minded politician and a ready alternative to Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, stocked with plenty of pictures of his young family to burnish that image.

The campaign said the ads have long been in the works, but the release comes just days after the Republican Governor's Association let loose more than $500,000 worth of attack ads targeting Carter's willingness to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Above you'll find the minute-long "Our Kids" ad, which seeks to define Carter as a "fiscal conservative" and bipartisan leader" and talks of his plans to create a separate education budget and overhaul the ethics commission.

At the end, the narrator intones: "Nathan Deal may be satisfied with where Georgia is today. Jason Carter isn't. He says it's time for a new direction - for our kids and all Georgia's families."

The second ad, "10th generation," is a play on Carter's deep roots in Georgia without mentioning former President Jimmy Carter, his grandfather. Jason Carter narrates the ad, which shows images of his two young sons and other young families throughout:

"I want them to grow up in a Georgia that's going to be prosperous, that's going to be successful. That they don't ever have to move away to get a good job or a good education. I don't just want that for my kids. I want that for every kid. Every kid in Georgia deserves to live in a state where they get a good education ... And right now we're not on the right path."

The campaign won't say how much funding it's putting behind the ads, but records indicate it is well above $100,000. Amid tight polls, Carter's camp is using its more limited resources to counter the television blitz for a few weeks in the summer rather than conserve cash for ads closer to November.

With polls showing a tight race, Carter's team apparently felt the need to answer swiftly. Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas explained it thusly:

"These ads are the first chance that a lot of Georgians will have to hear about Jason’s vision for Georgia’s future.”


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.