Duncan on the Air
Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) becomes the first candidate for governor to start advertising on television, debuting spots in the Baltimore media market this morning, the same day he formally unveils his new running mate.
Duncan appears on camera, offers a quick take on his biography and suggests himself as an alternative to Batimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) -- both of whom appear in the ads as nearly lifesize cardboard cutouts.
"These guys get lots of attention to themselves," Duncan tells viewers. "It's time someone paid attention to you. We don't have to settle for the way things are, because Maryland, it's time to think bigger."
Duncan spokesman Jody Couser said the spots are appearing on Baltimore's ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX affiliates. She would not disclose any other details of the ad buy.
"It's important that Doug continue to introduce himself to the Baltimore market, and this is one of many components of that effort," Couser said.
An executive with WBAL, Baltimore's NBC affiliate, said Duncan's initial buy on that station was limited to two days at a cost of $14,000 and said the spots would air primarily on morning shows.
Ad purchases in the Baltimore television market, which reaches more than half the state, are less expensive than those in the Washington market. But it is unclear how much airtime Duncan can afford. As of January, he had about $1.4 million in the bank, about one-third the cash on hand of O'Malley.
"It's very telling that Mr. Duncan is launching an ad campaign this early in the race," said O'Malley spokesman Hari Sevugan. "He has a lot of ground to make up, given every statewide poll has shown him trailing Martin O'Malley by overwhelming margins in the Baltimore media market."
Sevugan would not comment on when O'Malley might take to the airwaves.
Duncan is slated to get some additional exposure today as he formally announces Stuart O. Simms, a Baltimore lawyer, as his pick for a lieutenant governor candidate at events in Largo and Baltimore.
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