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Kathy Szeliga to run first TV ad in Senate contest

Republican Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga will begin airing the first television ad in the race to succeed Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski -- an introductory piece that will begin running this week on cable throughout the state.

Though the campaign did not release the ad itself, an aide said Szeliga has purchased a small amount of time on cable television starting Wednesday. The aide said the ad was shot on an iPhone as a cost-saving move.

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Szeliga, a state lawmaker from Baltimore County, is running an uphill race against Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen for the seat Mikulski has held for three decades. The only public poll in the race so far, released this month, showed Van Hollen significantly ahead.

Szeliga released only one television ad during the GOP primary: An introductory spot that featured her riding on a motorcycle and touting her status as a mother and grandmother. The upbeat and quirky ad came as the Democratic primary candidates -- Van Hollen and Rep. Donna F. Edwards of Prince George's County -- were airing increasingly negative attacks on one another.

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Her campaign appears to be hoping to capture some of that same spirit with the first general election ad. In addition to shooting it on a phone, a campaign aide said the ad will again feature the "now famous" motorcycle.

"It's because of the groundswell of support Kathy is seeing here in Maryland that we are able to be the first campaign up on the air in this race," Szeliga campaign spokeswoman Leslie Shedd said in a statement.

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