The 13th District congressional race just got visual.
State Sen. Daylin Leach and state Rep. Brendan Boyle began airing 30-second spots on local and cable TV channels on Tuesday.
Leach's ad touts his tough upbringing in foster care and his branding as Pennsylvania's "liberal lion."
"I remember the day my mom said she could no longer afford to keep me," Leach says. "I needed help once, and I'll fight for those who need help now."
Leach says he's not afraid to take on "bullies" like Gov. Corbett and the National Rifle Association, will protect Social Security and abortion rights and will fight "to put Wall Street crooks in jail."
Boyle's ad touts his working-class background and paints his opponents as millionaires.
“My dad’s a janitor for SEPTA. My wife’s a public school teacher. We’re not millionaires, like every one of my opponents," Boyle says in the ad. He says the nation needs fewer millionaires in Congress, a higher minimum wage, and continued support for the middle class.
"Defending working families is my priority," Boyle says. His campaign spent $100,000 on the ads, which will run for the next two weeks, an adviser said.
Leach and Boyle are in a heated four-way Democratic primary to replace Rep. Allyson Schwartz in the 13th District, which covers southern Montgomery County and North Philadelphia.
Radio ads promoting Dr. Valerie Arkoosh began airing earlier this month, funded by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. They paint Arkoosh as the only "non-career politician" in the race.
Leach’s campaign rejected Boyle’s ad as inaccurate, saying Leach “is not a millionaire.”
Jacob Dusseau, Arkoosh’s campaign manager, called Boyle’s focus on personal money an attempt “to distract voters from the real and urgent issues we face” — such as access to women’s healthcare, he said.
The front-runner, Marjorie Margolies, has not begun to air any commercials. Her campaign did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
Boyle’s campaign also lobbed some harsh words at Arkoosh, calling her hypocritical for sending out “negative attack mail” while claiming to be a political outsider.
Arkoosh in recent weeks has sent mailers stating that Margolies would raise the retirement age and cut Social Security benefits.
Margolies said in a debate this month that she doesn’t support raising the retirement age. Some activist groups are opposing Margolies because they say her position on entitlements has not been consistent.
As of the last reporting period, at the end of March, Arkoosh and Leach were running neck-and-neck in fund-raising and cash-on-hand. Boyle was running fourth in fund-raising but third in cash-on-hand, and Margolies was running third in fund-raising but a distant fourth in cash-on-hand.