(CNN) – Rob Maness, a GOP candidate in the Louisiana Senate race, released his first television ad showing him tying up an alligator - an act he compares to his promise to tackle "career politicians" in Washington.
The retired Air Force colonel also got an endorsement Thursday from conservative firebrand Sarah Palin - another instance this election cycle where the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee threw her support behind the non-establishment GOP candidate.
In the ad, Maness touts his tea-party credentials as he wrangles an alligator.
"Here in Louisiana you learn to be tough. One moment of weakness and the alligators can eat you alive so when I get to Washington, I'll stand up to the big spenders. I'll fight to repeal Obamacare and I'll protect our gun rights," he said in the 30-second spot.
"I'm Rob Maness and I approve this message because Louisiana needs a senator that will stand up to the career politicians and the alligators."
Maness' campaign also released a corresponding radio ad, entitled "Tough" and said the combined ad buy is $50,000.
Maness faces Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy in challenging Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu - who's considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate up for re-election this year.
Polls show Maness in the single digits trailing behind Cassidy, the establishment-backed Republican vying to replace Landrieu.
In her endorsement, Palin notes that Maness is an "admitted underdog in the race."
"Having spent his career in uniform, he does not have deep pockets or lobbyist connections to fund his campaign," she said in a statement.
"The GOP establishment has turned to a moderate Congressman who opposed President Reagan in the past and was actually a supporter of Mary Landrieu until recent years. He voted to raise the debt ceiling, was one of 19 Republicans to vote for President Obama's hate crimes legislation, campaigned in support of the government bailout (but now opposes it), voted for Obamacare Medicare savings (but now opposes them). Come on, GOP, is this the best we can do? I say no," Palin said.
Maness is the latest in a slew of tea party, anti-establishment candidates Palin's throw her support behind this year. The list includes Joni Ernst, who's campaigning for an open U.S. Senate seat in Iowa, and Karen Handel in the jam-packed battle for the GOP Senate nomination in Georgia.
Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina.
Louisiana has no primary and all the candidates appear on the November ballot. If no one cracks 50% of the vote, the top two finishers compete in a runoff in December.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.