Washington — Grosse Pointe businessman Sandy Pensler has a new ad running Super Bowl Sunday touting the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate as a “Detroit Tough” conservative businessman who would put “Michigan First,” his campaign says.
The 30-second spot, first described to The Detroit News, is part of a total $500,000 ad buy over three weeks that will run as part of Super Bowl coverage in every market across Michigan on Sunday, as well as on cable television and online statewide, said John Yob, a campaign consultant for Pensler.
During Sunday’s game, the ad could run either before, during or after the game in the Grand Rapids, Detroit, Traverse City, Lansing and Flint areas, with some markets potentially viewing multiple commercials, Yob said.
The spot will highlight Pensler’s time growing up in Detroit and creating jobs at the Korex Corp. plant in Wixom that produces detergent products. Pensler’s investment firm bought the facility when it was in danger of closure, he has said.
“Sandy will put Michigan First by renegotiating bad trade deals, securing our border, ending sanctuary cities and improving education,” Yob said.
The ad that will appear Sunday does not mention incumbent U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Lansing Democrat who is seeking a fourth term. Other ads will follow, Yob said.
Stabenow won re-election by wide margins in 2006 and 2012, defeating Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard and former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra with 57 percent and 59 percent of the vote, respectively.
This is Pensler’s first major television ad purchase since joining the GOP primary race in November. Last month he put $5 million of his own money into his campaign, confirming his intention to tap his fortune to compete for the nomination.
Others running in the GOP primary include Iraq veteran John James of Farmington Hills and Bob Carr, a historic preservationist from Mackinac Island.
“Michigan voters want a real conservative outsider. Not liberal Sandy Pensler who is pro-choice and pro-government funded health care,” James’ campaign manager Tori Sachs said in response to Pensler’s ad.
“In Pensler’s last run for office, Pensler spent mountains of money running as a pro-choice, pro-government funded health care liberal who saw spending as the answer to Washington’s problems. Pensler lost that race, and Pensler won’t win this one either.”
Yob said Pensler “is a conservative businessman who is strongly pro-life, opposes Obamacare and will be taking the fight to Debbie Stabenow.”
Pensler’s website says abortion is “wrong,” that the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling was wrongly decided and that he support eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
James reported Thursday his campaign raised nearly $691,800 last quarter of 2017, with about $647,270 cash on hand.
Another GOP candidate who had sought the nomination, retired Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young Jr., dropped out of the Senate race last month and endorsed James.
Stabenow maintains a fundraising advantage in the contest, having raised $1.9 million last quarter and ending the year with $8 million on hand, according to a summary of her financial report released Wednesday. She has served in the Senate since 2001 and is seeking a fourth term.
Pensler’s is not the only political ad that Super Bowl viewers will see Sunday across Michigan.
Gov. Rick Snyder is using his third Super Bowl commercial since 2010 to herald the economic gains during his tenure, while pushing to “accelerate and protect Michigan’s comeback.”
Jonathan Oosting contributed