Leckey makes six-figure TV ad buy in race for Kennedy seat

SE Mass

SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — One week after stunning her rivals with a huge fundraising haul in the race to replace Congressman Joe Kennedy, Democratic candidate Ihssane Leckey is going on the air Friday with a TV ad that portrays her as the true progressive in a crowded field.

Leckey, a Brookline resident and former financial regulator, vaulted into the top tier among the nine Democrats last week when her campaign reported she had more than $700,000 on hand after trailing the others in previous quarters. Her spokesperson, Josh Miller-Lewis, confirmed most of the money was her own.

“Ihssane donated $650,000 to her campaign – a significant portion of her and her husband’s life-savings – because as someone who lived in poverty, she feels a responsibility to make sure working people have a representative who fights for them, not another corporate Democrat,” he said.

“Unlike most of her opponents, Ihssane rejects corporate PAC and lobbyist money,” he added. “Based on our polling and Ihssane’s significant fundraising advantage, she is progressives’ best chance to win this race.”

The infusion of campaign cash is allowing Leckey to begin airing a 30-second spot that links her with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders as well as Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, the latter of whom endorsed Leckey earlier this week.

“I’m Ihssane Leckey — Donald Trump’s worst nightmare,” she declares in the ad, after showing a photo of the president shaking hands with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Emphasizing her support for a left-wing economic agenda, she urges voters to “change the face of Congress.”

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Miller-Lewis said the campaign has placed a “six-figure TV ad buy across the district” that starts on Friday. “The campaign will also launch an additional six-figure digital and OTT campaign Friday and has booked a broadcast buy for later this month,” he told WPRI 12. (“OTT” refers to over-the-top TV platforms on services such as Apple TV and Roku.)

Leckey is the second 4th District Democrat to go on TV, following Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss, who announced a smaller cable TV buy earlier this week. (Leckey’s plans were first reported by Politico.)

Leckey’s emergence as one of the best-funded candidates in the race has drawn attention to the fact that she has still not filed a mandatory personal financial disclosure form with the U.S. House of Representatives, despite being an active candidate for over a year. Miller-Lewis said Thursday night she will submit the document “very soon.”

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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