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Little-Known Challenger Spends Freely vs. Stevens

A little-known candidate in the GOP primary against Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska) is spending big-time money on television ads against the embattled Senator.

Attorney Vic Vickers said Monday that he has placed a $410,000 statewide network ad buy blasting Stevens that will start Wednesday and run through the Aug. 26 primary.

“I bought everything that was available,” Vickers said in a phone interview.

The first of five advertisements, according to Vickers, shows him standing in front of Stevens’ Girdwood home, which was raided by the FBI last year.

“I am Vic Vickers and I am running against Ted Stevens to stop corruption,” he says in the spot. “The FBI and the IRS raided his home as part of a criminal investigation.”

In addition to the media buy, Vickers said he planned to spend another $100,000 on radio ads in addition to the $190,000 he has already loaned his campaign, according to fundraising records. He said he expects to put at least $700,000 of his own funds into the race before the primary and he does not want to solicit campaign contributions from any “special interests.”

“I will not take a single penny from any oil company or any special interest and that includes all special interests, lobbyists, law firms …” he said.

If Stevens wins his primary as expected, he will face Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) in November. Recent independent polls have shown Begich with a slight lead over the veteran incumbent.

Vickers, also an economic historian and published author, said he filed for the race 30 minutes before the deadline in June. Four other Republicans, including ex-state Rep. Dave Cuddy, are also competing in the primary.

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