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Coakley Launches Her First TV Ad in Massachusetts

The air wars are intensifying among the leading Democrats in the Massachusetts Senate special election, with state Attorney General Martha Coakley launching her first television ad of the campaign on Tuesday. The 30-second ad goes hard after the women’s vote, featuring a middle-aged woman who was denied health care claims, including coverage for her mammogram. Coakley, she says, helped her get her money back and go after the insurance company. Coakley appears in the ad to voice support for a “strong public option,— referring to a government-run insurance plan being pushed by Democratic constituencies.The statewide ad buy is “robust,— in the words of Coakley spokeswoman Alex Zaroulis. While Coakley, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, is now up with her first ad, Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.) launched his third TV spot this week. Capuano’s 30-second ad focuses on improving Massachusetts’ business climate. New jobs, he says, come from the state’s health care, research and biotech industries, “which depend on federal funding.— Capuano, hitting a recurring theme in his campaign, says he is best-equipped to deliver that funding as the only Member of Congress in the field.Capuano and fellow Democrat Stephen Pagliuca have been blanketing TV airwaves for weeks with ads introducing themselves to voters. Coakley, the only statewide officeholder in the race, has been able to hold off thanks to higher name identification before entering the race. That has enabled her to conserve cash going into the final month before the Dec. 8 primary. Coakley started October with a cash-on-hand advantage over her Democratic rivals, reporting nearly $2 million in the bank compared to $1.2 million for Capuano, $1 million for Alan Khazei, co-founder of the national community service program City Year, and $674,000 for Pagliuca.The Democratic primary winner is likely to go on to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D), who died of cancer in August, triggering the special election.State Sen. Scott Brown has a firm grasp on the Republican nomination, but he faces long odds against the eventual Democratic nominee in the Jan. 19 election.