(CNN) – A new ad is raising the stakes in an already increasingly negative battle for the Democratic Senate nomination in Florida.
Rep. Kendrick Meek's campaign announced Monday they're releasing a new television commercial that slams billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene, who jumped into the race earlier this year.
"Meet the real Jeff Greene: Ran for Congress as a California Republican. Moved to Florida two years ago. Became a billionaire on Wall Street betting middle class families would lose their homes. Helped fuel the economic meltdown. Warren Buffett called Greene's scheme 'financial weapons of mass destruction'," says the narrator in the ad.
Greene, 55, made millions investing in real estate and multiplied that money by investing in credit-default swaps during the real estate bubble of recent years. He rebuffs Meek's charges that he made his fortune on the backs of the Sunshine State's suffering homeowners.
"Not one Florida homeowner lost a penny because of the investments I made," Greene told CNN's John King earlier this month on an appearance on "John King, USA."
Meek's commercial is his first in his primary fight against Greene. Meek's campaign describes the ad buy as "substantial" and says the commercial will air statewide in Florida.
Meek's new commercial follows by a week a Greene commercial that fires away at the four-term congressman.
"Career politician Kendrick Meek's record. Since Meek's been in Congress, 650,000 more Floridians are unemployed. Meek took thousands from special interests like Wall Street, Tobacco, Big Oil, even BP. And now Meek's been tied to a criminal fraud case. Isn't there a better choice?" says the announcer in the Greene ad.
Meek, who represents Florida's 17th congressional district in the southeast part of the state, denies any wrongdoing and his campaign says "Jeff Greene has built an entire campaign on lies."
The winner of the August 24 primary will face off against former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio, the likely Republican nominee, and Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is now running for the Senate as an independent candidate, after dropping out of a battle with Rubio for the GOP nomination. Most recent polls indicate that Crist has a narrow lead over Rubio, with either Meek or Green a distant third.
UPDATE 4:35 p.m. ET: The Greene campaign responded to the new Meek ad.
"What does a Washington politician do when he can't defend a record of failure and has been named one of the most crooked candidates in America? Try to make things up about Jeff Greene," says Green campaign spokesman Luis Vizcaino, in a statement.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn