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Facing one of his toughest re-election battles yet, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) has released his first television advertisement of the cycle. Kanjorski is getting a challenge from Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R), who became nationally known for his stringent anti-immigration policies in the third-largest town in the northeastern Pennsylvania district.

Kanjorski’s campaign has paid to run the spot on broadcast stations for one week with a price tag of about $36,000, according to longtime strategist Ed Mitchell. The 30- second advertisement emphasizes Kanjorski’s roots in the district.

“Nanticoke, Pa.: where Paul Kanjorski was born and raised, and lived his whole life,” a voice-over says in the advertisement. “Paul and Nancy brought up their daughter here, in the same house where the couple lives today. Same neighborhood. Same middle-class values. He’s never forgotten where came he came from, or the hardworking people he represents. He puts people first, before special interests.”

Barletta campaign manager Vince Galko took issue with the advertisement, referring to Kanjorski’s financial disclosure statements as proof that the Congressman is no longer part of the “middle class.”

“Mr. Kanjorski is worth somewhere between $2 million and $6 million,” Galko said. “Those are his assets, and don’t include his yearly Congressional salary of $169,300. For him to claim he represents ‘middle-class values’ is insulting.”

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