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Allen airs first TV ads in Virginia Senate race

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Local,Steve Contorno

As he pivots to the general election, Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Allen is up with his first two television ads.

The two 30-second TV spots began airing Thursday and are part of a new thematic message, "Virginia Voices," that's expected to carry Allen's campaign through the summer. The spots feature Virginians telling stories about their experiences with Allen, a former governor running to regain the Senate seat he lost in 2006.

"Virginia Voices" will run as part of a six-figure ad buy -- though the campaign would not specify how much -- with new "voices" rotating in periodically. Most of the airtime was purchased on cable, though the spots will run on broadcast networks as well.

"As a Mom, it's very important to me to have someone like George Allen there fighting for us," said Betsy Beamer, the subject of one of the two ads. "I have two daughters; best job in the world is being their mom. A parent wants the next generation to have more than they had. George Allen's running for this Senate seat for the right reasons."

Beamer was Allen's secretary of the commonwealth and serves as an adviser to his campaign.

The light-hearted commercials are in stark contrast to the ominous negative ads that conservative groups such as Crossroads GPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are airing against Allen's Democratic opponent, Tim Kaine. It's also a shift from the anti-Kaine message Allen has pushed on the trail so far.

The first two ads feature women, a key demographic that Kaine and Democrats insist Allen does nothing to help.

"Virginians couldn't afford the first six years of George Allen's failed economic agenda and hyper-partisanship," Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine said. "They certainly can't afford six more."

Allen first went on the air with a radio ad campaign as part of his "Send A Message" tour in the days before coasting to a Republican primary victory. That commercial was much more critical of Kaine.

Kaine has reserved $2.5 million in airtime for this fall.

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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