Shays finally takes to the airwaves

The campaign of former Republican Rep. Chris Shays ran its first television ad Thursday, touting the Senate candidate’s experience.

“He’s smart, he knows what he’s doing and he’s done it before,” Shays’ wife Betsi says in the 30-second spot.

The ad will run until the primary election on Aug. 14, which will pit Shays against multimillionaire Linda McMahon, who has largely been financing her campaign and running television ads across the state since May 1.

The two Democrats in the race, Susan Bysiewicz and Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5th District, have been airing campaign ads for weeks.

But Shays was at a fundraising disadvantage with his rivals and said in June he decided against running television ads.

He changed his mind, Shays campaign spokeswoman Amanda Bergen said, “after many supporters came forward and said they wanted to see Shays on the air.”

“So we raised enough money to go on television,” Bergen said.

The Shays campaign ad will run on “every available spot” on Fox News, Bergen said.

“We’re running a very targeted campaign and Fox is where the Republican primary voters are,” Bergen said.

Of the approximately 411,000 registered Republicans, Bergen said she thinks only 120,000 to 150,000 will turn out to vote Aug. 14.