Zaun goes up on tv and other news from the third district race

State Senator Brad Zaun announced today that his campaign started running this television ad:

Five Republicans are competing in the primary to face Leonard Boswell in Iowa's third Congressional district. Zaun is the first to go up on television. The ad hits very safe themes, with Zaun promising to "restore trust" and "common sense conservative values." He also calls for ending deficits and "corporate bailouts" and notes that he will listen and believes the Constitution "means something." I will update this post if I receive more details on the ad buy. I heard it is running on the CBS affiliate in Des Moines, but I don't know yet about cable networks.

I haven't seen any fundraising numbers from Zaun's campaign. Jim Gibbons, who is backed by some very large Republican donors, raised about $207,000 during the last six weeks of 2009. He hired a campaign manager last month.

Dave Funk, darling of the Tea Party crowd, raised about $39,500 last year and started 2010 with about $16,500 on hand. He has hired several campaign staffers.

Craig Robinson of The Iowa Republican said Mark Rees has given his own campaign $50,000. Rees is campaigning as a relatively moderate Republican, and I'm curious to see whether he can get traction in a crowded field. He hired a campaign manager earlier this month.

  • Rees & Zaun

    Rees actually has positions and discusses issues if you go to his website.  If he actually gains traction in the primary we could have a debate of substance between he and Zaun with Funk just screaming about the Founding Fathers, taxes bad and other incoherent grumblings.  Gibbons could also be a factor if he develops solid policy papers.  I doubt Rees will gain any traction however and it will just be a shouting match about the "death of the republic."  

    I support Leonard regardless, but I think Zaun is the frontrunner and Rees could certainly make it a race if he were to make it to the general as well.  

    • I follow them all on Twitter

      and I agree with about 25 percent of what Rees says. I take this to mean he has no chance in a Republican primary, but if all the others split the conservative votes, he could squeak through.

  • Zaun very clearly the frontrunner now.......

    with Gibbons trying to buy his way in.  the real issue is, we won't know how much money Zaun really has until the march reporting date, as Zaun just got his campaign started a couple weeks before before the holidays, and had his first fundraiser a couple days before the filing deadline....the receipts for that won't even be back before January.

    Look for a lot of flawed analysis coming this week attempting to compare finances between Gibbons and Zaun (keeping in mind the above).  Also, look for another candidate, West Des Moines resident Scott Batcher, to throw his name in the ring.

    the Funk campaign...with all of his restricted money now (funds that can't be used until the general election) is barely on life support at this point, and Batcher will be fighting with the others (Betroche, Rees) for scraps.

    • I wouldn't go that far

      Few people are paying attention. Fong was up first on radio, and it didn't make him a front-runner in the governor's race.

      With so many candidates in the field, this thing may well be decided at a district convention. I have no idea whether that would give Gibbons or Zaun the edge.

      Who is Scott Batcher? I have never heard of him. What's his angle?

  • C-

    Yikes. This ad is not good.

    First, the good. Zaun's message is decent. It seems to hit middle of the road Republican themes and Tea Party themes without fully committing to either.

    However, (and that's a big however) the production values for this commercial are ridiculous. I'm not saying that campaign commercials have to be Avatar quality, but Jeez Louise. Really, what's with these silly Powerpoint style banners? BELIEVE IN THE CONSTITUTION?

    I see this ad, and it doesn't give me confidence in the candidate. It looks cheap. It looks unprofessional.

    I know commercials aren't cheap. But either shell out the bucks for a halfway decent one, or stick to print and radio. It's that simple.

  • commercials continue Zaun's long running theme....

    It is easy to want a shiny commercial that a candidate spends tens of thousands on.  A great example are the two that Culver ran in mid 2009....slick, highly produced, and very very expensive. How did that work out for Culver in the numbers?

    Zaun is 5 for 5 in elections running on a consistant theme of simplicity, less goverment, less expense.  You don't see one bit of "slickness" in Zaun, and to those that really know him, the "realness" of Zaun is his great appeal.

    Contrast the obvious simplicity of this ad with the WIDE coverage throughout the blog and news universe today, as well as the MANY positive comments on the Zaun Facebook site.  I would bet the hits have jumped 10 fold on the website.

    The publicity from a very simple ad is now worth thousands just in the first day of running it.

    • I'll give you one thing...

      This ad has gotten people talking. From the looks of the conversation at The Iowa Republican, it looks like they're all talking about how crappy this ad looks and how weak his fundraising is.

      To steal a line from the conversation over there, he's not running for mayor of Urbandale. He's running for Congress and he needs an ad that reflects that.

      If you can't admit that this ad looks like crap then you've gone totally blind from drinking all that Zaun-ade.

      • not crazy about the ad

        but in fairness to Zaun, The Iowa Republican blog is pretty much dominated by the Gibbons crowd, with a dash of Funk.

  • soon to be 7 republican candidates........

    Batcher has been around (at high school basketball games and coffee shops) with a 3rd district petition.  Look for yet another entry in the race with a venture by Jason Welch, who will be putting up a website soon.

    Don't make the mistake of confusing a lot of entires with viability.  I think you will find 5-6 of the candidates simply fighting for leftovers.  You can still hold me to my prediction this is Brad Zaun's race in the primary, as well as the general.

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