Gang prosecutor Elan S. Carr, a Republican in the crowded race to succeed retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), on Monday became the first of the candidates to start airing campaign ads on cable TV.
The 30-second spot, dubbed "Doing What's Right," introduces the first-time candidate by highlighting his experience as a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who has "put hundreds of violent criminals behind bars."
"But we need to keep kids out of gangs in the first place," Carr says in the ad, "with more after-school programs, job training and better schools.
"And Washington's too much of a mess to get it done."
Carr does not mention his GOP affiliation. Waxman's 33rd Congressional District is strongly Democratic.
The approximately $50,000 purchase of one week of cable advertising is just the beginning, said Carr campaign spokesman John Van Winkle.
The cable buy is "part of a very robust purchase spanning from now until the election in June," Van Winkle said. He added the campaign also plans to do some advertising on broadcast TV stations, which is a very expensive medium in the vast Los Angeles market.
Carr reported raising slightly more than $300,000 by March 31, but his campaign said he has "a lot more contributions in the pipeline" and expects to be able to make an "extensive media buy" to boost the first-time candidate's name recognition.
In another development, one of the 10 Democrats on the June 3 primary ballot has halted his campaign.
Businessman James A. Graf said Monday that polling he commissoned for the race showed several others who are better known to voters had snapped up backing, especially former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel and state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance).
"I give a lot of credit to Ted and Wendy," Graf said. "They have a lot of support among likely voters."
Graf, a first-time candidate who had lent his campaign $1 million, said he stopped campaigning last week because his team "could not see a path" to the fall ballot. Only the top two finishers in June, regardless of any party affiliation, will advance to the November general election.
He said he is in the process of converting his campaign operation to a nonprofit endeavor to work with disadvantaged youths but did not rule another run at elected office in the future.