November 1, 2011

Mayor candidate has TV to himself

Michael Brennan hopes the 30-second ad will give him an edge in the last week of the race.

By Jason Singer jsinger@pressherald.com
Assistant City Editor / Online

David Marshall has used a small army of volunteers to knock on doors. Jed Rathband's supporters have tried radio advertisements.

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This image is from an ad for Portland mayoral candidate Michael Brennan in which he refers to his parents.

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Click here to watch Michael Brennan's ad on YouTube.

Ethan Strimling and Michael Brennan have sent out mailers, and nearly all of the mayoral candidates have put out scores of lawn signs.

But starting today, Brennan will have something none of the other 14 mayoral candidates has: a television commercial.

A 30-second ad will begin airing today on WCSH, Channel 6, and will appear later in the week on WGME, Channel 13. The ad will air numerous times during the stations' local news segments through Nov. 7, the day before the election.

The commercial tells the story of Brennan's father, who lost his job in Portland, forcing the family to move to Florida during Brennan's childhood.

One of the reasons Brennan is running for mayor, he has said, is to try to ensure that other Portland families don't have to do the same because of a lack of jobs.

"I came back to raise my family," Brennan, a former state senator, says in the commercial. "You know what we need to keep our families going strong. Quality schools. Good jobs. And thriving neighborhoods.

"Let's write the next chapter of our story together. I'm Michael Brennan, and I'm asking for your vote for mayor."

When Brennan says "quality schools," the commercial shows Ocean Avenue Elementary, which Brennan helped secure funding for as a state senator by helping to rewrite the state's school funding formula. The ad also shows him chatting with residents on the street.

Brennan, who had raised $41,100 as of Oct. 25, according to his campaign finance report, is likely one of the few candidates who can afford to run a television ad.

Only Strimling, with $83,300, and current Mayor Nick Mavodones, with $45,700, have raised more, and both said they won't use television. Strimling said he will run radio ads.

Rathband, the only other candidate who has raised more than $20,000, also said he won't spend any of his $27,600 on TV ads. But a political action committee that supports him has run radio advertisements on his behalf on WGAN 560 and a local sports station. 

Staff Writer Jason Singer can be contacted at 791-6437 or jsinger@pressherald.com 

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