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Posted at 5 a.m. on March 7, 2014
Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster is leaving nothing to chance in his campaign for a seventh full term.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman is going up Friday with a monthlong, $400,000 TV ad campaign ahead of the Keystone State’s May 20 Republican primary.
The spot will be on broadcast in the Altoona/Johnstown market, along with cable throughout the rest of the 9th District.
Early on this cycle, Shuster’s re-election bid seemed to be on shaky ground, thanks to a primary challenge from retired Coast Guard Capt. Art Halvorson. Halvorson is running as a tea party candidate and had the potential to earn outside group help.
But there is little evidence that Halvorson will be able to compete with such a massive TV advertising presence, and outside groups have shown little interest in the race.
In the spot, a narrator declares Shuster to be a “proven conservative.” Most of the images show Shuster interacting with local voters, in casual clothing, and in one shot holding a gun.
The ad touts Shuster’s efforts to “cut $10 trillion in wasteful spending.” That statement, though, is very much at odds with Shuster’s family legacy. His father, former Rep. Bud Shuster, earned the nickname the “King of Asphalt,” for his successful efforts to bring funds back to the district to construct a highway.
Back in September, Shuster’s political aides insisted he took the threat seriously. That came through in Shuster’s amplified fundraising over the last year, and that money is now coming into play with this positive ad campaign.