WATERLOO, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Over the weekend, U.S. Rep. and Senate-candidate Bruce Braley released his first TV campaign ad, entitled "Work," which touches on his labors as a teenage farmer while he saved for school.
While the ad touts the time Braley, D-Iowa, spent doing farm work, it doesn't mention his controversial and highly publicized past remark that a "farmer" could end up being next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In January, Braley told a group of trial lawyers at a Corpus Christi, Texas, fundraiser he needs their "help" to stop Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley - an Iowa farmer prior to launching his extensive career in Congress - from becoming the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In his new campaign ad, released Friday, Braley discusses his impoverished roots, the jobs he held in his youth and eventually using the money he saved to go to Iowa State University.
"When I got to junior high I started doing a lot of farm work," Braley says in the video. "I would play football games on Friday nights and then I would go over to the elevator and dry corn all night long."
Braley's mother, Marcia Braley, also makes an appearance in the video, reassuring perspective voters that her son knows the value of hard work.
Braley, a plaintiffs lawyer by trade and former head of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, is the only Democrat running for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin.
Before being elected to Congress in 2007, Braley "worked as an attorney for 23 years, holding corporations accountable to their employees and consumers," according to the congressman's online bio.
So far in the first quarter, Braley has raised $1.25 million in campaign contributions, bringing his total to $5.4 million earned, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Four out of five of Braley's top contributors are major law firms, accounting for more than $105,000 in donations, according to opensecrets.org.
Braley is scheduled to speak at the New York State Trial Lawyers Association's Law Day on Thursday.
From Legal Newsline: Reach David Yates at firstname.lastname@example.org