Five days before the primary, surgeon Chad Mathis has released a positive spot in an open Alabama House race that features his kids playfully making fun of his cooking.
“Dad’s not a great cook, but he’d be a great congressman,” said Mathis’ daughter, Abby, in the ad — her name written in font similar to the widely-ridiculed Comic Sans. Mathis’ campaign says the ad is a five-figure digital buy and will air online as preroll on YouTube videos.
GOP operatives said the positive spot is a change of tone for Mathis, one of seven Republicans running in the open 6th District primary. They say Mathis has received heat in the district for negative campaign tactics, taking shots at almost all of the other Republicans running in this race to replace retiring Rep. Spencher Bachus.
The Club for Growth, which is backing Mathis, is also up with a negative ad attacking one of the other GOP candidates.
Other Republicans running include state Rep. Paul DeMarco, businessman Will Brooke, state Sen. Scott Beason and social conservative activist Gary Palmer, among others.
GOP operatives say DeMarco is the clear front-runner going into the June 3 primary. However DeMarco is not expected to clear the 50 percent mark necessary to avoid a July 15 runoff, leaving the rest of the field in a close race for second place.
The race has been marked by hefty fundraising in this Birmingham-based district — one of the most Republican-friendly districts in the country. Whoever emerges as the Republican nominee will have a clear path to victory in November.
Alabama’s 6th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.