WASHINGTON (CNN) - His rival has been on the television airwaves in northern Virginia for weeks. Now, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds is up with an ad of his own in the pricey Washington, D.C. media market, home to most of the commonwealth's voters.
The new television ad does not highlight Republican Bob McDonnell's controversial master's thesis - the focal point of the Deeds campaign's media strategy over the last week.
Instead, the Democrat is talking education, a touchstone issue for suburban voters in a state where budget cuts have forced public colleges and universities to hike tuition and fees.
"Growing up we didn't have much, but education was always a priority," Deeds says of his rural childhood. "My mom sent me off to college with just four $20 bills. So I know that education is the best investment Virginia can make for our children - and in our future."
The 30-second ad, which began running on Tuesday night, notes that Deeds was endorsed by the 60,000-member Virginia Education Association and promises that there is "no leader more prepared to move Virginia forward."
Before he won the Democratic primary in June, Deeds ran a TV ad in northern Virginia touting his endorsement from the Washington Post, a stamp of approval that may have helped him lock up the nomination.