Biss Releases First TV Ads in Race for Illinois Governor

Exactly 10 weeks before the Democratic primary election, state Sen. Daniel Biss is taking his campaign for Illinois governor to television airwaves.

In an NBC 5 exclusive, Biss announced Tuesday that he plans to run his first TV ads statewide beginning Wednesday.

Biss will run two ads dubbing himself "the middle-class governor": a 30-second piece called "Personal" and a 15-second spot titled "Homework," both featuring his wife and two children.

In "Personal," Biss touts his background as a teacher, organizer and state senator, promising to fix "our broken system" because "it's personal." 

The second ad shows Biss with his children, as he says he's "the only candidate for governor with kids in public schools" and vows to "make billionaires pay their fair share in taxes to fully fund them." [[468470653, C]]

That line serves as a thinly-veiled attack on both Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner and Democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker, both billionaires who are in large part self-funding their campaigns.

Biss' commercials build on his November 2017 release of a digital ad in which he pokes fun at the wealthier candidates, diagnosing Illinoisans with a condition he calls "Big Spending Billionaire Syndrome" (BSBS). [[468328653, C]]

Biss has continually painted himself as a "grassroots" alternative to the rest of the candidates, some of whom have already taken to television to campaign. 

Both Rauner and Pritzker have been running ads for months, and Democrat Chris Kennedy has posted one TV spot as well.

Still, the Biss campaign noted "we’ve outraised all our opponents with small dollar donations with thousands across the state," according to Tom Elliott, his communications director. [[468343803, C]]

Unlike Pritzker and Kennedy, Biss had an active campaign committee formed prior to announcing his gubernatorial run thanks to his time in the legislature and now has more than $3 million cash on hand, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.A former University of Chicago math professor, Biss has represented Evanston in the Illinois State Senate since 2013.

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