Sullivan attacks Gomez in new TV ad

Two of the three Republican US Senate candidates released television ads today, hitting familiar themes from the past week of the campaign

Michael J. Sullivan went on the attack against fellow Republican candidate Gabriel E. Gomez, tying Gomez to President Obama in a new television ad released today. Gomez released his own spot that the campaign said would begin airing next week, lumping Sullivan and state Representative Daniel B. Winslow in with the Democratic candidates as “career politicians.”

Sullivan’s ad uses a letter Gomez wrote to Gov. Deval Patrick in January, putting his name forward to be appointed as interim Senator for the seat formerly held by John Kerry.

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“Gabriel Gomez wrote to Deval Patrick saying he ‘supported President Obama,’” a female narrator says in the 30 second spot, Sullivan’s first TV ad.

“Gabriel Gomez, an Obama Republican,” the narrator says, over a black and white picture of Gomez and gloomy music.

The music then turns hopeful as a photos of Sullivan appear on screen. “Vote for the true independent Republican, Mike Sullivan,” the narrator says.

The ad will appear statewide on cable television and is expected to begin airing on Friday, though it is not clear how often it will play and how widely it will be seen.

Paul Moore, Sullivan’s campaign manager, declined to disclose how much the campaign was spending on the spot. Moore said he hoped to increase the buy’s size in the coming days.

Gomez’s ad starts by blaming “career politicians” for gridlock in Washington, depicting the other four candidates with on-screen pictures of their faces and blaming Sullivan, a former state legislator and federal prosecutor, as “a guy who’s been in politics two decades.” A narrator lists Gomez’s background as businessman, Navy pilot and SEAL as footage shows Gomez riding the subway and then armed combatants wielding guns.

A narrator outlines Gomez’s plans for term limits, a ban on members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, and a policy of blocking congressional salaries if Congress does not pass a budget. “Gomez has a plan to clean up Congress,” intones the male narrator.

Gomez campaign spokesman Will Ritter declined to say what day the ad would begin to air, where it would run, whether it would run on cable or broadcast, or how much the campaign would spend on airtime.

While the Democratic contenders for the Senate seat, Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch, have been in heavy rotation on television in recent weeks, the Republican candidates have had a surprisingly small presence on the airwaves.

Gomez, a private equity investor and former Navy SEAL, who contributed to Obama in 2008, was on the defensive about his letter in a debate Wednesday night with his two GOP opponents: Sullivan, a former US attorney, and state Representative Daniel B. Winslow. There, Gomez said he was “proud” he wrote the letter.

While his past support of Obama could be a boon in a general election, it’s likely to be an albatross for Gomez during the short GOP primary campaign.

Responding to the ad today in a statement, Gomez hit back at Sullivan, saying, “With 19 days left Mike Sullivan’s campaign is desperate and in full free-fall. Why is he attacking me? Because he is losing.”

Both the Democratic and Republican primaries are set for April 30.