Mark Patrick Flaherty's county executive campaign quadrupled the ad spending of Democratic rival Rich Fitzgerald for a portion of last week, spending $110,000 to Fitzgerald's $24K during one period.
[UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: Fitzgerald campaign manager Mike Mikus said our original numbers were "way off," and cited figures showing the campaign spent more than $80K from April 8-18. Our numbers are from a slightly different -- and shorter -- period, and are not exactly apples-to-apples. Flaherty's spending came in a 7-day period and Fitzgerald's a 4-day span.]
The spending boost came with Flaherty's entrance into the TV market, and the pair still introducing themselves to Allegheny County Democratic voters one month before the May 17 primary. Fitzgerald, who trailed Flaherty in early polls, began his spots first on April 1.
A study of local television ad spending shared with Early Returns shows the Fitzgerald team is looking to switch that script this coming week, booking its own $110K to Flaherty's $60K. Overall Fitzgerald has spent $251K in airtime to Flaherty's $170K, reflecting his two week headstart.
Both candidates are spending the most TV money on WPXI, followed by WTAE and then KDKA.