First TV Ad in Democratic Primary, As Voters Remain Undecided

May 9, 2018

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jared Henderson is out with his first television commercial. It strikes a positive tone and doesn’t mention his primary opponent, Leticia Sanders or Governor Asa Hutchinson. His campaign says it'll be the only TV spot of the primary.

It airs at a time when 59 percent of likely Democratic voters don’t know who they’ll vote for, according to a survey released this week by Talk Business and Politics/Hendrix College. Henderson holds a lead in the single digits, at 24 percent support. Sanders has 17 percent. The two debate on KATV tonight.

The 30 second spot mentions several prominent Arkansans – Johnny Cash, Maya Angelou, Bill Clinton – as evidence of what the state can produce at its best. The ad also touts Henderson’s area of experience, education, “I spent the last six years recruiting 300 teachers to rural Arkansas schools. As Governor, I want the best for every child.”

Henderson’s campaign fundraising allows him the possibility of brief TV time, while Sanders anemic fundraising prevents the public exposure. Henderson is the former state director Teach for America’s Arkansas branch. He’s raised more than $171,000 as of March. Sanders, a former postal employee and current hairstylist, had raised only $2,175.

A spokesperson for Henderson's campaign declined to comment on the cost or markets covered in the ad purchase saying,  "We are on broadcast television with a significant buy. We are not planning on any more ads for the primary."

Early voting is underway for the May 22nd primary.