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Lieutenant governor candidate Will Ainsworth makes massive ad buy

State Rep. Will Ainsworth speaks after a committee meeting to reporters. (SAMUEL MATTISON/APR)

In a campaign that has yet to see any massive television ad buys, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Will Ainsworth is making the first big splash.

Ainsworth campaign on Tuesday said it had made a television, digital and social media ad buy that totals in at more than $1 million — the most of any candidate so far in the 2018 statewide elections.

The first-term House representative, who sponsored a piece of controversial legislation last session that would give public school teachers the ability to get appropriate training and carry firearms on school grounds, made the ad buy with the intention of introducing himself to voters.

The ad discusses Ainsworth’s Christian faith.

“Unlike his career politician opponents, Will Ainsworth is a fresh face with new ideas, and this ad will help voters learn what guides his beliefs, thoughts, and actions,” Ainsworth campaign director Lewis McDonald said. “As a former youth pastor, Will has a devout commitment to his Christian faith, and he will lead the fight to preserve the morals and values that the Bible instructs us to follow.”

Ainsworth is running against GOP Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh, who considered a run for governor before deciding to run for lieutenant governor instead. Cavanaugh is a former ALGOP chairwoman.

Ainsworth, who is from Guntersville, represents portions of Marshall, Blount, and DeKalb counties. The ad is airing on network and cable stations across the state as well as in digital and social media formats, the campaign said.

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According to the most recent campaign finance filings from March available on the secretary of state’s website, Ainsworth had a balance of more than $1 million in his campaign accounts. Ainsworth has yet to file his most recent report, and the ad buy had not yet posted.

So far, Ainsworth, who loaned his campaign $500,000 in August, has raised $879,000 in contributions.

Cavanaugh, has raised more than $960,000 in cash contributions and started out her campaign with a large loan she and her husband made to her campaign. She has $698,838 in cash on hand, according to campaign finance filings from Wednesday.

The GOP primaries are scheduled for June 5.


Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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