Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert (R) is up with the first television ad of the Texas Senate race, seeking to increase his low name recognition around the state and paint himself as a pragmatic businessman as well as flick his opponents for their career backgrounds.
"Would you trust a lawyer to build you a house? How about a career politician? Do you think another Barack Obama speech will make companies start hiring? Of course not," he said in the ad, alluding to longtime Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), the GOP front-runner, and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz. "We need people in Washington who know how to create jobs. I'm not a lawyer or a career politician. I'm a conservative businessman and the only proven job-creator in the race. I'm Tom Leppert. Creating jobs is my job."
Leppert has been in third place in most polls, with Dewhurst holding a commanding lead over him and Cruz, who is running with backing from some prominent conservatives in D.C. and Texas. But he has the personal wealth to keep himself in the game — Leppert has $4.1 million in cash for the campaign, much of it from his own pockets.
The ad buy will run in all of Texas's major markets and has around a half million dollars behind it, according to Leppert's campaign. It is likely the first of many salvos the candidate will use his robust war chest to fund.
Leppert is known as more of a centrist than the other two candidates, which could make it tough for him to catch Dewhurst, another self-funder who has $4 million to spend and is better-known around the state, and Cruz, who has some strong Tea Party support. But with plenty of money, he will be able to stay in the game for as long as he wants.
Watch the ad here: