(CNN) – In what's turning into a crucial Senate race that could decide which party controls the chamber the next two years, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire went up Sunday with the first television commercial of her re-election bid.
The ad airs three weeks after her leading Republican challenger, former GOP Sen. Scott Brown, went up with his first paid spot.
Shaheen's 30-second TV commercial features New Hampshire resident Dwight Clark, a Vietnam War veteran and the former commander of American Legion Post 4 in Keene. Clark worked with Shaheen to bring the Veterans Clinic and Outpatient Center to Keene.
"We've been promised a vets center in the Keene area for 30 years and got nothing. Then Jeanne Shaheen grabbed the bull by the horns and cut through the red tape and got things moving. Jeanne Shaheen got the Keene Veterans Clinic open," said Clark in the ad.
"Jeanne Shaheen gets the job done for New Hampshire," Clark added at the close of the spot.
Shaheen's campaign said the commercial will run for a week on WMUR, the main broadcast TV station in New Hampshire, as well as on cable throughout the Granite State.
Shaheen's first TV ad (she's run some radio spots) stays positive and doesn't mention Brown or any of her other GOP challengers.
But the New Hampshire GOP Monday attacked the senator.
“Like so many other Washington politicians, Jeanne Shaheen has broken her word to the veterans of New Hampshire. When she was running for Senate, she promised to deliver a full-service Veterans Affairs Hospital to the Granite State. Six years later, Shaheen has failed to keep her word and this pledge has gone unfulfilled. Our military men and women put everything on the line for us, and they deserve representatives who will deliver on their promises and not just use them for talking points and sound bites to get elected," said a statement from the state party.
Brown's first spot
Scott's launched his first commercial just four days after formally announcing his campaign for Senate in New Hampshire. The former senator from neighboring Massachusetts sold his home in the Bay State late last year and moved his residency north to New Hampshire, where he owed a vacation home and where he spent much of his childhood.
His first ad was also positive, highlighting his listening tour throughout New Hampshire.
"Scott Brown has almost 300,000 miles on this truck," said the narrator in the spot. "Over the last few weeks, it's taken him all across New Hampshire, listening, learning - and what he's learned is pretty simple: People want an America that leads the world again, a health care system that works for New Hampshire and more good jobs."
To date, outside groups have been the biggest spenders in the Senate battle in New Hampshire.
Two of the biggest players when it comes to outside spending, Americans for Prosperity (which is backed by the billionaire industrialist Koch Brothers) and American Crossroads (which was co-founded by Karl Rove), have poured more than $1 million into the race, mostly to attack Shaheen for her support of the health care law.
The Ending Spending Action Fund, a pro-Republican outside group, has also run ads in support of Brown and against Shaheen.
Meanwhile, the pro-Democratic Senate Majority PAC spent almost $200,000 to run ads supporting Shaheen.
Shaheen vs. Brown
The most recent public opinion survey in the race - a WMUR/University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll conducted last month - indicated Shaheen held a 45% to 39% advantage over Brown among likely voters in a potential general election matchup. Shaheen's 6 percentage point advantage was down from a 10 point lead in January. Fourteen percent were undecided in the survey.
The incumbent had a double digit advantage in two polls - Suffolk University/Boston Herald and American Research Group - conducted in late February and early March.
Brown joins three other Republicans who are running for their party's Senate nomination in New Hampshire: former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, former state Sen. Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman. The winner of the September 9 primary will face off against Shaheen, who also served for six years as the state's governor.