As early voting starts today, Republican congressional candidate Chuck Fleischmann returned to the airwaves for the first time since he captured the GOP nomination in Tennessee's 3rd District.
Unlike the attack ads in the air wars among Republican rivals this summer, Fleischmann's new "Real Prosperity" ad tells of his "humble upbringing," growing up without his mother in New York learning "to work hard and have faith."
3rd District Candidates
* Republican: Chuck Fleischmann
* Democrat: John Wolfe
* Independents: Don Barkman, Mark DeVol, Gregory C. Goodwin, Robert Humphries, Mo Kiah and Savas T. Kyriakidis
The commercials, being aired in Chattanooga, are funded by $265,000 the Fleischmann campaign has raised since the Aug. 5 primary election in the predominantly Republican district.
Fleischmann, a Chattanooga attorney, said Tuesday he will spend only a portion of the $700,000 he donated to his campaign to win the Republican primary.
"Our campaign is going extraordinarily well and we're meeting with people every day and getting our message out," Fleischmann said Tuesday during a campaign visit with Cleveland business owners.
John Wolfe, another Chattanooga attorney who is the Democratic candidate in the 3rd Congressional District, said he has raised more than $10,000 in the period ended Sept. 30, which he will report by Friday to state election officials.
Wolfe said he is airing some TV commercials on cable stations in Oak Ridge and expects soon to air commercials in Chattanooga.
"We're hoping to spend more and we will be competitive," Wolfe said.
Wolfe criticized Fleischmann for using religion and personal hardships in his campaign ads, claiming the rival candidates have similar backgrounds but different philosophies.
The Fleischmann campaign said a survey of 400 registered voters by Chris Wilson of Wilson Research shows that 50 percent of the respondents said they will vote for Fleischmann, compared with 20 percent for Wolfe. The rest were either undecided or split among the six independent candidates in the race.