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First ’14 ad airs, Branstad asks supporters for “emergency contribution” to respond

(Radio Iowa) – The first advertising of the 2014 campaign season has hit the airwaves.

The campaign team for Democrat Jack Hatch, a likely candidate for governor, altered the lyrics of the theme song from the “Smokey and the Bandit” movie to highlight Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s recent speeding incident.

“We’ve got a long to go and a short time to get there. I’m eastbound and watch old Branstad run,” a man sings before the sound of screeching tires. Hatch then adds: “I’m Jack Hatch and I approved this message because no one’s above the law.”

A trooper driving Branstad and the lieutenant governor back to Des Moines in late April was clocked driving 19 miles an hour above the posted speed limit, but the vehicle wasn’t pulled over. The trooper was issued a ticket three months later.

Branstad, who is expected to seek a sixth term as governor in 2014, was asked about the ad this morning during his weekly news conference.

“I think it’s a little too early to make these kind of attacks and, you know, this is August of 2013,” Branstad said. “The Iowa State Fair’s going on. I think people are more interested and focused on that than political attacks.”

However, Branstad’s campaign issued a fundraising alert this weekend, asking supporters for an “emergency contribution” so Branstad can “fight back” against Hatch’s T-V ads. Jack Katzner, Branstad’s campaign manager, said Hatch’s “ugly attacks can’t be ignored.”