The first television ad for the state's 2014 gubernatorial contest began airing Sunday. It features an endorsement by Governor Mike Beebe (D).
“No one is more independent than Mike so please join me in supporting Mike Ross for Governor,” Beebe said in the ad.
Roby Brock of Talk Business Arkansas suggested Beebe's appearance in the ad is a good thing for Ross.
“Well, if there was any doubt that Mike Ross, the Democratic candidate for governor was going to hitch his wagon to popular Governor Mike Beebe this first TV commercial of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign should clear up any confusion. Beebe is prominent in announcing his endorsement of Ross in this first TV ad. With Beebe's popularity among Democrats, among independents, and even among Republicans this is a strong ad for Mike Ross,” said Brock.
The January airing of the advertisement also drew the attention of Brock.
“The other curious this about this ad is its timing. We're just now at the beginning of 2014 and this gubernatorial race really hasn't had much of an exchange at all except for some occasional stories in the press. For Mike Ross to kind of throw a gauntlet down this early in the campaign season and make this significant TV buy, I think it says that he wants to try to establish some credentials with some independent voters. I think it says that he wants to make a statement that he has raised a lot of money and he's going to start spending it, it looks like early,” said Brock.
The ad should run for several weeks, including during Monday's BCS National Championship football game. Ross is the only Democrat seeking the nomination. Curtis Coleman, Asa Hutchinson, and Debra Hobbs are seeking the Republican nomination.