Buono Hits Christie With First TV Ad in New Jersey Race

Photograph by Mel Evans/AP Photo

New Jersey Sen. Barbara Buono greets supporters on Feb. 2, 2013, as she officially kicks off her campaign for New Jersey governor with a rally in New Brunswick.

Barbara Buono, the New Jersey Democrat waging a long-shot campaign to unseat Gov. Chris Christie, will launch her first television ad this week as she seeks to compete with the popular and well-funded Republican.

Buono, 59, will spend over $1 million — more than she’s raised in donations — to air the spot on New York-based broadcast and cable stations, said a person within the campaign who declined to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak on specifics of the ad buy.

Buono has so far collected $869,000 in private donations and another $1.3 million in public matching funds, according to totals released by the state.

In the 30-second spot, Buono said there is “another New Jersey” that contrasts with Christie’s claims of economic revival. Under Christie, real-estate taxes are up, 400,000 people in the state are unemployed and the state ranks 44th in job creation, she says, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics.

David Turner, a spokesman for Buono, declined to comment on the advertising strategy in an email today.

Buono, a lawyer from Metuchen who’s served in the Legislature since 1994, has so far relied on videos posted to her Facebook page, website and Twitter to get her message out.

Christie, a potential White House contender in 2016 with an edge of more than 30 percentage points in recent polls, holds a 3-to-1 cash advantage and so far has raised almost as much money ahead of the June primary as he did in the entire 2009 election cycle. His campaign has spent $2.3 million on television and radio ads.

Christie has held fund-raisers across the U.S. and counts a number of technology and business executives among donors that contributed $6.2 million ahead of the June primary. The governor has opted not to accept public matching funds, which caps spending by candidates.

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