[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/04/art.kirkbp0504.yt.jpg caption="Republican Mark Kirk's new ad mentions embattled energy company BP."]
(CNN) – Illinois Republican Rep. Mark Kirk is out with a new television ad that both accuses his opponent of distracting voters and refers to embattled energy company BP.
Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois State Treasurer, will face off in November's midterm election in an effort to win the Senate seat once held by President Obama.
The 30-second spot says Giannoulias is trying to distract attention from the recent failure of the bank founded Giannoulias' family which was seized by the FDIC late last month.
Then the ad turns positive and focuses on Kirk's record. "Because of Kirk's record on stem cells and stopping British Petroleum's pollution of Lake Michigan, he's called 'independent' and 'effective,' the ad says.
Asked for a response to the new Kirk ad, the Giannoulias campaign said Kirk was not in touch with voters' concerns.
"Only someone as out of touch as Congressman Mark Kirk would say talking about jobs and the economy during a campaign is a distraction," Giannoulias campaign spokesman Matt McGrath told CNN.
The ad, entitled "Distract," will run on broadcast and cable outlets for the next few weeks in select markets in Illinois, according to the Kirk campaign.
Charlie Cook, a respected political handicapper, rates the race as lean Republican in Kirk's favor. Stuart Rothenberg, another respected handicapper, rates the contest as a toss-up.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.