WICHITA, KAN. --- The general election is still three months away but political ads are already starting up again.
The first one to hit the airwaves is an ad that links Kansas gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis to President Barack Obama.
It begins: "When few supported Barack Obama, there was a liberal Lawrence legislator who believed."
The 30-second spot is paid for by the Republican Governor's Association, an organization that's goal is to help GOP gubernatorial candidates get elected to office.
"Davis was an Obama delegate at the Democrat National Convention," the ad continues.
This one featuring Davis is the most recent of several ads RGA has put out in the last week, targeting Democrat challengers in states where races are expected to be close, including in Kansas.
Davis, currently the Kansas House Minority Leader, is running against incumbent Governor Sam Brownback in November.
Although the ad never mentions Brownback, it echoes statements he's made criticizing Davis' support of the Obama administration's policies.
"And four years later, after the failed stimulus, massive bailouts, record debt, a stalled economy, and the Obamacare disaster, Paul Davis was right back at the Democrat Convention with Obama as Obama's delegate," the ad goes on to say.
The ad's timing is also key. It started airing the day after the primary election. Brownback won the Republican nomination by a smaller margin than most predicted. Little-known Jennifer Winn received 37 percent of the vote against Brownback. Some political experts say that's a sign Brownback's road to a second term could be more difficult than expected.
The ad ends with: "Paul Davis. Don't delegate Kansas to an Obama Liberal."
In response to the ad, the Davis campaign released this statement:
Weeks after more than 100 current and former Republican officials endorsed his opponent, and just hours after losing nearly 40 percent of Kansas Republican primary votes to a virtually unknown opponent, Sam Brownback and his outside groups rushed to distract Kansans from the Governor's failed experiment by attacking Paul Davis.
It's clear Sam Brownback is in trouble and the Republican Governors Association knows it," said Davis campaign spokesman Chris Pumpelly. "On the same day a second credit agency downgraded the Kansas bond rating and the day after a weak primary performance, Sam Brownback and his big money allies again try to distract from his dismal record and blame others for his failed experiment.
"The governor continues to dodge responsibility for the mess he has created in Kansas. It's clear he'll blame just about anything on the President: be it a weak primary performance or the latest in a string of bad news about the Kansas economy. It's time the Governor stop misleading voters and take responsibility for our struggling schools and stagnant economy."
Not only was the state credit rating downgraded for the second time in three months, but Kansas is one of only five states in the country to have lost jobs in the last six months. In contrast, Missouri has gained over 18,000 jobs since the end of last year.
RGA is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ad to air for four weeks in Wichita and other cities across the state.