MONTPELIER, Vermont — Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin on Wednesday began airing his first television advertisement in the general election race, a 30-second ad that uses a number of people noting his role in the state's recovery from Tropical Storm Irene, the fight against heroin and opiate addiction and other accomplishments.
Retired Middlebury College political science professor Eric Davis said he felt the ad was aired partly to counter problems that have dogged the state's health care website, most recently noted by Shumlin's announcement Tuesday to take down the Vermont Health Connect website down so it can be repaired.
"Shumlin's team wants to remind people of things that the governor can claim credit for over the last four years so that voters will think about his full record rather than just this week's news stories," Davis said.
The last campaign finance filings showed Shumlin had about $1.1 million in the bank.
Shumlin's two main challengers, Republican Scott Milne and Libertarian Dan Feliciano, have yet to air any general election television ads.
Milne, who aired an ad before the August primary and had about $16,000 on hand at the end of the last reporting period, said he would be running more television ads during the campaign.
"Our strategy is to not talk about it until it's up," Milne said Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, Feliciano had $5,800 in the bank.
Feliciano's campaign issued a statement saying Shumlin was trying to convince Vermonters with the ad that everything is "great" and he's trying to solve their problems.
"The reality is Governor Shumlin's failed leadership is what is hurting Vermonters," he said.
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