(CNN) – Two days after Democrat Bob Kerrey announced his intention to run for Senate in Nebraska, Republican candidate Jon Bruning released his first ad attacking the former senator.
The spot, which will begin airing statewide Friday, attempts to paint Kerrey as a moderate "New York liberal," in contrast to the "conservative" Bruning.
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"Kerrey says 'Obamacare' didn't go far enough. Bruning is leading the fight to overturn it," the narrator says. "Kerrey voted for billions in earmarks. Bruning says eliminate earmarks and cut spending."
Bruning, the state's attorney general who will compete in the Republican primary, was seen as the frontrunner to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson prior to Kerrey's announcement Wednesday.
Kerrey, a former four-term governor who served as a Nebraska senator for over a decade, said Wednesday his decision against a bid in December was "not the right one" and reaffirmed his commitment to the Cornhusker State.
Since leaving the upper chamber of Congress, Kerrey has lived in New York City while serving as a college administrator.
In response to the 30-second commercial, the Kerrey campaign pushed back against attempts to paint his recent time in New York in a negative light.
"People leave their home states for a job … when people come back we think it's a good thing," campaign manager Paul Johnson told CNN, adding the criticism is "insulting to Nebraskans."
Johnson also said the "false" ad is an attempt to paint the election as a two-man race, despite the impending Republican primary.
"Bob's a fiscal conservative," Johnson told CNN. "It's one of the main reasons he's running because of the debt and deficit we face as a nation."
Non-partisan political handicappers Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg list the contest as "likely Republican" and "Republican favored" respectively.
News of the ad was first reported by POLITICO.