Jul 5, 2016 9:59 AM

First on NH1 News: Hassan campaign touts innovation, job creation, in new TV spot

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – Gov. Maggie Hassan’s second television ad of her campaign for U.S. Senate highlights her policies to encourage innovation and job creation that she says she’ll use in Washington.

“When it comes to innovation and job creation, we need to spark something in Washington the way we have here in New Hampshire,” the governor says to camera in the commercial.

NH1 New was first to report on spot, which will be unveiled by the Hassan campaign later on Tuesday. The campaign says they’ll spend six-figures to run the ad on New Hampshire and Boston broadcast stations, as well as on cable and on-line, starting on Wednesday. Among the stations running the ad is WBIN-TV, the television home of NH1 News.

“In New Hampshire, the innovation that creates jobs is a spark. Igniting the imagination. Illuminating a new idea,” Hassan says.

“Innovation starts by expanding opportunity. That’s why we froze tuition at our state universities, lowered community college tuition. And created “Live Free and Start” – an award-winning effort to help launch small businesses,” Hassan adds.

The commercial’s release comes as the governor held a campaign event at the Smuttynose Brewing Company in Hampton to tout her Innovate NH 2.0 economic plan, which outlines the priorities she would focus on as a U.S. Senator. The Hassan campaign says her economic plan will help Granite State businesses like Smuttynose to continue to grow “while also building a cleaner, more affordable energy future.”

Hassan said "my Innovate NH 2.0 plan calls for cutting red tape and reducing the regulatory burden on new companies."

"It also calls for expanding the impact and availability of the federal research and development tax credit, and building on successful ideas like the state small business credit initiative," she added.

And she took aim at Ayotte, saying that "instead of putting New Hampshire’s businesses and hard working families first, she’s voted to protest special interests like big oil companies and their tax breaks."

Responding to the new ad, Ayotte campaign spokeswoman Liz Johnson told NH1 News "while Governor Hassan frequently pays lip service to 'innovation', her latest ad is undermined by her record of supporting policies that hamper economic growth and make life more expensive for New Hampshire families and businesses."

"Hassan mismanaged the state's economic development efforts, vetoed a budget over modest business tax relief, and helped ram through an LLC tax as a state senator. And while she tries to claim credit for freezing tuition rates, a recent report reveals that she skipped nearly all university system meetings," Johnson added.

Ad wars

The challenges faced by Hassan’s son Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy, took center stage in her first campaign commercial, which hit airwaves in early May.

The Democratic governor announced last autumn that she would challenge Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte in 2016 rather than run for a third term in the Corner Office. The race has become one of the most high profile, expensive and negative U.S. Senate showdowns in the country.

Ayotte’s first ad showed her playing basketball with her daughter, Kate. Her second spot highlighted several active and retired New Hampshire law enforcement leaders praising her work on gun-related issues. The commercial was first reported by NH1 News. Her third ad portrayed her as an “independent leader” who fights for her constituents.

While the two campaigns have picked up the pace in recent months, the vast majority of ad spending in the race has come from pro-GOP and pro-Democratic outside groups, which have spent big bucks to flood New Hampshire airwaves with commercials.

Gov. Maggie Hassan, at a campaign event at the Smuttynose Brewing Company in Hampton to highlight her Innovate NH 2.0 economic plan, on July 5, 2016

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