State Representative Mary Ann Sullivan is hoping to take her act down the hall to the Indiana Senate as she challenges Republican incumbent Brent Waltz for his District 36 seat.
Sullivan has released her first TV ad touting her independence. Here it is:
This ad works on a number of levels.
First of all, it does show Mary Ann is different. She doesn't see party first, and she has maddened party leaders because she voted against what would have been the party line. She's different from her yard signs to her style. She's not your normal politician, and this ad portrays that.
Related to that, Mary Ann doesn't necessarily look at constituency groups to tell her how to vote, either. Her vote for Barack Obama's, Arne Duncan's, Tony Bennett's and Mitch Daniels' merit pay and classroom evaluation reforms (which I think was principled but wrong, by the way), cost her the endorsement of the Indiana State Teachers Association. They decided to go with the pro-voucher Brent Waltz. Vouchers drain money away from public schools in the form of vouchers and hand that money to private or religious schools to educate students. Sullivan was against them.
Secondly, the ad is positive. It only concentrates on Mary Ann Sullivan and introduces her. It doesn't tear down or rip up Brent Waltz. Those ads may be coming, but this ad is a good introduction.
It also is nice to hear from a candidate. I think it's effective when the candidate does their own voice over in a bio ad.
Excellent work from the Sullivan camp.