NASHVILLE — Those supporting retention of three state Supreme Court justices in the Aug. 7 election apparently took at least an early lead over those opposing the judges in spending on television advertising, but a new wave of ads unleashed this week could change the spending picture.
Figures collected by Justice at Stake, a national group that tracks state court races, show that through last week Tennessee Forum — the first group opposing the justices to air TV ads — had spent $119,055 on commercials. Keep Tennessee Courts Fair, the umbrella group for the campaigns of Justices Cornelia Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade, had spent $201,495.
Since those figures were collected:
Wade’s campaign on Tuesday put up a new ad that focuses only on the chief justice. It shows him picnicking with family, working at his desk while a narrator says, among other things, “Work, family and faith define Gary Wade, chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.” Prior ads have featured all three of the justices together.
A new group weighed in on the side of the Supreme Courts. Tennesseans for Fair Courts declared in a news release it has put an ad online to defend the justices against “extremist attacks” and plans to soon begin airing it on TV today in Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga.
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