Surprise ad buy for Connecticut stations


Former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT) announced in May that he’d suspended campaigning for the Republican US Senate nomination after the state GOP convention endorsed former WWE CEO Linda McMahon. Now, though, Simmons has resurfaced with a buy of $350,000 in TV ads.

According to both the Hartford Courant and the online news site Connecticut Mirror, the new 30-second spots urge people to “vote with your heart and your head” and ends with “I’m Rob Simmons, I’m still on the ballot, and I approved this message.”

Simmons, a retired US Army Colonel, also includes the line, “Put your trust in the candidate who is and will be an advocate for veterans.” That’s apparently aimed at reminding Republicans that the likely Democratic candidate, current State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, has been leading McMahon in the polls despite having been caught lying about his military service. Unlike Blumenthal, Simmons actually did serve in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and received two Bronze Star medals.

The Simmons ad is running on broadcast TV in the Hartford-New Haven market and on cable in the Connecticut suburbs of New York City. The primary election is August 10th.

RBR-TVBR observation: Nothing will surprise us in this election year. Incumbents who were once thought to be untouchable have found their seats in play. Now a candidate who had seemingly dropped out and no longer even has a campaign staff is suddenly spending money on TV ads. It’s all making for a really good revenue year for broadcasters.