Tomorrow, the first television ads in this year’s gubernatorial campaign will hit the airwaves.
In the ads, Governor Phil Bredesen focuses on what the he considers to be the financial success stories from his term in office.
“…we balanced four straight budgets without raising taxes, we’ve proved we don’t need an income tax, and we still increased funding for education, passed a health care program we could affort, and our rainy day fund has never been higher…”
But what the Governor calls a Rainy Day fund, Republican opponent, Jim Bryson, considers a surplus. Campaign spokesman Lance Frizell says that when Bryson’s television ads begin, that surplus will be part of the central message, along with raising graduation rates and tackling illegal immigration.
“We’ve got to cut the sales tax on food. You know, we’ve got this huge budget surplus, it’s time to give that money back, because we have a surplus, and frankly, it will help all our citizens, to cut the sales tax on food. Those will be our messages.”
Frizell wouldn’t say when television viewers could expect to see the first Bryson ads. But he acknowledged that the campaign will have to be very careful about how it spends money.
Because he was a state senator when he entered the race this winter, Bryson was not able to begin fundraising until the legislative session ended in June.
The most recent campaign finance report for Bryson, filed shortly before the August 3rd primary, showed a balance of just over 500-thousand dollars.
Bredesen’s pre-primary report listed nearly 4-and-a-half million dollars to spend.