D.C. mayoral candidate Patricia Roberts Harris' campaign is scheduled to begin an intensive television advertising blitz--estimated to cost $250,000--today that will continue for the 5 1/2 weeks remaining before the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.
The cost of the media campaign represents about half of Harris' total campaign budget.
Produced by The Campaign Group, a Philadelphia political media firm, the advertisements focus on Harris' background and on her stands on several issues including crime, education, economic development of the city and housing, according to Sharon Dixon, Harris' campaign director.
The ads will appear on the city's four major commercial channels; the first spots will be on WDVM, Channel 9, and WRC, Channel 4.
Mayor Marion Barry has yet to begin his television ad campaign. Barry has said he expects to start his ads this month but has declined to say when.
"We want to reintroduce Pat to the city," said Dixon. "We want to present who she is and what she has contributed to the city. The first set is basically a series of clips highlighting the various contributions Pat has made over her life, with an emphasis on the quality and character of Pat Harris the candidate."
One advertisement shows Harris' testimony before Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) at a confirmation hearing in which he questioned her ability to represent the poor and disadvantaged. Harris' response to the senator that she began life as the daughter of a Pullman car porter and worked to achieve success is one of her best-known public statements.
Dixon said the second set of ads presenting Harris' views on the city's problems will not attack Barry's record.
"The advertisements won't so much be critical of Barry as a critical assessment of what this city could be as opposed to what this city is," Dixon said.