WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Jeb Bush’s first TV ads of his 2016 White House campaign will target New Hampshire, his team said on Friday, in a reflection of his need to do well in an early voting state where rival John Kasich has been making inroads.
The initial $500,000 buy will include Boston broadcast television and New Hampshire station WMUR, Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said.
Ads will start running next Wednesday and continue through the rest of the month. Targeted online advertising will also be included.
New Hampshire’s primary next Feb. 9 follows the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 that launch the parties’ nominating contests for the November 2016 presidential election.
“This is the first step in a multi-week process where we will be expanding our advertising in New Hampshire and the other early states,” Campbell said of the Bush ads.
They will focus on Bush’s “strong conservative record of reform and his plan to change the culture in Washington,” she said.
Bush has been in a highly visible feud this week with Donald Trump, front-runner to be the Republican nominee. But he is also keeping an eye on Kasich.
Kasich, the Ohio governor who is competing with Bush for the support of establishment Republicans, has already been on the air in New Hampshire with TV ads and he has frequently visited the state.
Bush and Kasich are running about even in opinion polls of Republican voters in New Hampshire. Many voters cite both men as their top choices, and both Bush and Kasich need to do well in New Hampshire since they are lagging in Iowa.
Bush, a former Florida governor, told reporters on Thursday in Laconia, New Hampshire, that he feels good about his position in spite of the summer rise of real estate magnate Trump.
“People as they get closer to the election, they’ll start thinking who can sit behind the big desk, who can make tough decisions, who has a proven record?” Bush said. “I think I can make a pretty good case over the long haul that I am that guy.”
Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Frances Kerry