This post has been updated.
Former governor George Allen has released the third television ad of his U.S. Senate campaign, once again featuring a testimonial from a woman who knows him well: former cabinet member Kay Cole James.
Allen (R) -- who is running neck-and-neck with fellow former governor Timothy M. Kaine (D) to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D) — launched the first two ads of his “Virginia Voices” campaign last month, as part of a broader effort to soften and humanize his image in the wake of his rough 2006 reelection loss.
The third spot showcases James, who served as Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources when Allen was governor and is also, as the ad notes, a wife, mother and grandmother.
“Well, if you know George Allen at all, you know he’s tenacious,” James says in the ad. “And if he believes in something and believes in something strongly, he’s going to work at it, and work until it’s done. Welfare reform was not easy and people told us constantly it couldn’t be done. There are a lot of politicians who talk about working across party lines to get things done. George Allen has done it. He’s got a proven record and he’ll take that to Washington with him.”
Having secured the Republican nomination, Allen is now focused on winning over independent voters. He is also looking to narrow the gender gap; a Washington Post poll released in May showed Kaine leading among women voters by 7 points.
"It's not surprising that George Allen would be endorsed by his own political appointees,” said Kaine spokeswoman Lily Adams. “But Virginia voters need look no further than George Allen's last Senate term, where he opposed major bipartisan initiatives and compromise, to know what kind of senator George Allen would be if he wins reelection.”