UPDATED: Tom Murry's mom stars in the Republican lawmaker's first television commercial, touting his education bonafides: smaller classes, merit pay raises, less bureaucracy.
The 30-second spot debuted Monday and will appear on targeted cable TV stations for a month as Murry looks to distance himself from his Democratic rival in one of the hottest state legislative races in the state. It doesn't mention Murry's political party and seeks to compete on the education issue that Democrats want to own.
Democrat Jim Messina, a first-time candidate, is giving the House incumbent a solid challenge, in part because Murry is running in a new district that is different than the one that sent him to office two years ago.
Democrats countered that Murry's ad doesn't provide the whole picture about how Republicans cut education funding in the 2011-2012 fiscal year budget. "Any math teacher would give Tom Murry an “F” on education - cutting $1.2 billion from education while voting for tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest earners is bad for our schools and bad for our economy and it just doesn't add up," party spokesman Walton Robinson said in a statement.