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Gov. Phil Murphy in the first TV ad of his bid for re-election as governor of New Jersey. (Image: Murphy for Governor/NJ Globe.)

Murphy launches first TV ad of re-election bid as part of $5 million media blitz

Governor touts accomplishments, contrasts GOP message that New Jersey is broken

By David Wildstein, May 11 2021 8:55 am

Gov. Phil Murphy’s re-election campaign will launch a new TV ad as part of a nearly $5 million paid media emphasizing the governor’s leadership through the coronavirus pandemic and his first term accomplishments.

Murphy narrates his own ad, which seeks to frame his first term as protecting New Jersey from the effects of COVID-19 and delivering on his promises of a stronger and fairer state by raising the minimum wage, preserving reproductive freedom and helping small businesses.

In “No Other,” Murphy is spending $5 million to refute the narrative of his presumptive Republican opponent, former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, that the state is broken.

In addition to Murphy – who is depicted wearing a mask and then maskless — the ad uses images of a first responder, children and families, and a restaurant – Rocco’s Pizzeria in Avenel – to deliver his message.

Script: “No other state was tested like ours. Yet through our loss, we came together.  What’s next? Moving forward.  Boosting small businesses now — when they need it most.  Giving our kids the tools to succeed.  Raising the minimum wage.  Protecting reproductive rights.  Making New Jersey work for everyone.  No other state has our grit and our heart. And no other state has our future.  We’re not going back.  Let’s go.”

The ad will run in the New York and Philadelphia network and cable media markets through Jun 7 and will use over-the-top and digital ads.

The $5 million being spend on campaign ads represents more than two-thirds of the $7.3 million Murphy can spend to win the Democratic nomination, although he has no opposition.

Ciattarelli has spent more than $2 million on cable television ads since going up on the air on March 17.

Murphy is accepting public financing for his re-election bid – a route he bypassed in his bid for the Demcoratic nomination four years ago – and he qualified for a full match by raising over $3.5 million during the last three months of 2020.

“With less than a month to go until the June 8 Democratic primary, we are ramping up a coordinated effort to communicate directly with voters, highlighting Governor Murphy’s leadership in building a stronger and fairer post-pandemic economy that works for everyone,” said Mollie Binotto, Murphy’s campaign manager.  “We are launching a multi-platform paid media effort, spanning both television and digital, to remind voters that we will keep moving forward under Governor Murphy’s leadership.”

The governor’s advertising blitz comes as four Republicans compete for the chance to take him on in the November general election.

Murphy is seeking to become the first Democratic governor to win re-election in 44 years, and the first Democratic governor to launch a bid for a second term with a high job approval rating since 1965.

A Monmouth University poll released last week puts Murphy’s approvals at 57%-35%, with 48% of the state saying he deserves a second term and 43% wanting someone else.

Murphy wound up unopposed in the primary after judges tossed two opponents off the ballot – one for filing fraudulent nominating petitions and the other for failing to obtain the minimum number of signatures.

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