Calley launches his first TV ad in ‘run’ for governor

Jonathan Oosting
The Detroit News

Lansing — Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Friday launched his first television advertisement of the 2018 Michigan governor's race, with a narrator urging voters to "continue the comeback" by picking him to replace term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder.

The ad, titled “run,” shows the long-distance runner leading a crowd of joggers through the streets of downtown Portland, his hometown.

Calley is the first GOP gubernatorial candidate to launch a sustained broadcast TV ad campaign ahead of the August primary. Saginaw-area obstetrician Jim Hines has aired a small number of one-time ads on broadcast stations during Fox News Sunday episodes, along with additional cable spots. Democrat Shri Thanedar of Ann Arbor has been airing TV ads since December.

The new Calley ad, titled “Run,” shows the long-distance runner leading a crowd of joggers through the streets of downtown Portland, his hometown.

"When I ran for lieutenant governor, I ran for families. I ran for workers who were struggling, for those with disabilities, children with autism, loved ones fighting addiction," he says in the ad.

Calley then touts “conservative reforms” and private sector job growth over the past seven years under the Snyder administration.

"So is the job finished? No, we're just getting started," he says.

Calley's campaign did not disclose how much it will spend on the first ad run but said the 30-second commercial is part of a "substantial" buy on broadcast and cable TV, along with online.

Disclosure forms filed with the Federal Communications Commission this week show Calley has reserved time on ABC stations in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Flint. Records show his campaign will spend $9,350 on 44 ads in the Flint market through the end of March. Details from other markets were not available.

The new ad was filmed on March 11, according to liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan, which crashed the set after learning that Calley was seeking runners to appear in the commercial. Deputy communications director Sam Inglot attempted to join joggers wearing a sign declaring that Calley "can't run from his record.”

Calley is "married to the decade of deceit" under the Snyder administration, including the Flint water crisis, Inglot said in a release earlier this week.

Calley is competing for the GOP gubernatorial nomination with early poll leader Attorney General Bill Schuette of Midland, state Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton Township and Hines.

A super political action committee supporting Schuette on Friday also accused Calley of trying to “run away from his record,” including his decision to withdraw his endorsement of President Donald Trump in the 2016 election after audio surfaced of Trump making vulgar and sexually charged comments about women.

Democratic primary candidates include former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing, former Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed of Shelby Township, retired Xerox Executive Bill Cobbs of Farmington Hills and Thanedar.

The Democratic Governors Association on Friday announced it has reserved fall airtime with what it called a “multimillion-dollar” ad buy in Michigan.