WASHINGTON (CNN) – California Rep. Duncan Hunter is asking constituents to support his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, in the first television commercial aired by a candidate for the 2008 presidential race.
The ad shows Hunter sitting before a blue backdrop as he thanks Southern California voters for electing him to Congress and then solicits their support for a national campaign.
"I authorized it so that Lynne and I could thank you for some 26 years of great support as your representative in San Diego," Hunter said in the ad that began running Thursday on KUSI, an independent station located in the San Diego media market. "Now I'm running for the presidency and lots of folks have asked how they can help.
"Please join our campaign and help us spread this message of a strong national defense, border control and protecting American jobs," he added.
Hunter spokesman Roy Tyler did not disclose the amount being spent on the ad, but described it as a "test buy." Tyler said the campaign will evaluate their television advertising strategy next week.
"It is the first ad paid for by a candidate's presidential committee," said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer for TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on television advertising spending. "Hunter has been very aggressive in his use of TV advertising dating back to December of 2006 when his political action committee began running ads in key early states."
Tracey noted that Hunter has opened the door for what is going to be a record-breaking cycle for political ad spending.
"When all is said and done this will be an asterisk in the record books," he said. "The 2008 elections will be the longest and most expensive advertising cycle we have ever seen for a presidential race."