Gov introduces campaign ads to the public


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Big money is being poured into political ads as the race for Utah governor heats up.

Wednesday, Gov. Gary Herbert said he expects to spend $1 million on TV and radio ads this year. His Democrat challenger, Peter Corroon, has spent about $240,000 already, according to disclosure reports.

'Critical issues' for Herbert Campaign
  • Bring new business to Utah to create new, high paying jobs and expand our tax base
  • Support Utah businesses in creating new jobs
  • Protect, and expand education funding by expanding our tax base. Tax increases are counterproductive
  • Focus on continuing to find greater efficiencies within State government
  • Continue our emphasis on ethical State government
  • Provide balanced, meaningful immigration reform that is specific to Utah's needs, and keeps the interests of the Utah taxpayer foremost in mind
  • Maintain the low cost of Utah's electricity, while making traditional fuels cleaner and renewable more economically viable

The amount of money the candidates are spending is a sign: Herbert is taking Corroon's challenge seriously.

The Gary Herbert-Greg Bell team is asking voters not to make a change in November. Unveiling a series of radio and TV and billboard ads, the governor called the media blitz a "million dollar buy" before it's all said and done.

"We're going to run a positive campaign," Herbert said. "We're going to run an aggressive campaign as we get the message out to the people of Utah."

Corroon has been running ads for weeks. His campaign is also spending big to boost his name ID.

"I think it's critical that the citizens understand we are different candidates, that we're not the same candidates," Corroon said.

In his latest ad, he pokes fun at himself to emphasize that he's a "fiscal hawk," pointing out that he wears his brother's shoes.

Herbert has a series of ads where fellow Republicans testify that he's education- and business-friendly.

But Democrats see an opening. Wednesday, Nathan Daschle of the Democratic Governor's Association called Herbert "a pretty weak Republican incumbent."

Though admitting Corroon does have a fight ahead of him, Daschle also called him "the strongest Democrat that has run for state office in years"

Herbert isn't too worried, though. He says Utah's economy is getting better.

"We actually see growth in the marketplace. We're actually creating and adding jobs," Herbert said.

In contrast, Corroon sees room for improvement.

"Right now people are cutting back themselves, businesses are cutting back. They want someone in government who is cutting back as well," Corroon says.

Corroon's campaign is working hard to close the lead Herbert has. A Democrat hasn't won the governor's race in Utah since 1980.

E-mail: rpiatt@ksl.com

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Richard Piatt

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