BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republican candidate for Louisiana governor Eddie Rispone has committed to spending at least $5 million on television ads in the race, seeking to outspend his fellow GOP competitor and blanket the airwaves until Election Day.
The Republican businessman’s campaign said Monday that it has locked in another $4 million in TV ad time, on top of more than $1 million already spent to air its ongoing 30-second spots.
Rispone spokesman Anthony Ramirez said the campaign has made its preliminary ad buys for broadcast, cable and cable sports television and expects to spend even more to stay on television uninterrupted until the Oct. 12 election.
“It’s not our full buy,” Ramirez said in an interview. “We’re going to be buying more, but that’s going to be on a week-to-week basis.”
The wealthy businessman has poured $10 million of his own money into his campaign to defeat incumbent John Bel Edwards, the Deep South’s only Democratic governor.
Rispone, a first-time candidate but longtime political donor, appears to be trying to freeze out fellow GOP contender Ralph Abraham, a three-term congressman with less campaign cash to spend who hasn’t yet launched a TV campaign.
A PAC called Securing Louisiana’s Future that supports Abraham has accused Rispone of “trying to buy this election.”
Abraham’s campaign hasn’t publicly said when it will begin its television advertising.
Edwards started his TV spots earlier this month. Campaign manager Richard Carbo wouldn’t say how much the campaign plans to spend but said Edwards intends to stay on television until Election Day.
“We’re up for the duration,” Carbo said Monday.
The latest finance disclosures, filed with Louisiana’s ethics administration office, showed Abraham had $1.3 million cash on hand for his campaign at the end of the last reporting period, compared with $9.6 million for Edwards and $9.8 million for Rispone. Rispone has largely self-financed his gubernatorial effort.
Rispone’s two TV ads so far have focused solely on the GOP candidate’s support for Donald Trump, seeking to introduce himself to voters by tying himself to the president, rather than using traditional biographical spots. Neither ad mentions Edwards or Abraham.