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August 21, 2008

Shays invokes Obama in first campaign ad

Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) is portraying himself as a bipartisan problem solver in his first campaign ad -- and uses Barack Obama to drive that message home.

“The hopefulness of Obama. The straight talk of McCain. It’s what Christopher Shays has always stood for. He goes where the truth takes him, never afraid to take a stand or oppose his own party,” the ad says.

“In a sea of partisanship, Shays is different. It’s not what is Republican or Democrat, it’s what’s right for America...Everyone has a congressman, we have Christopher Shays.”

Shays is the only House Republican left in New England, and his decision to downplay his GOP ties is almost a political necessity in the affluent Connecticut district.

Shays won re-election by a three-point margin in 2006, and is facing a spirited challenge from Jim Himes, one of the Democrats’ strongest recruits.

Shays isn’t the first Republican member of Congress citing Obama for political gain. Earlier this month, Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) aired two ads citing his legislative work with Obama and John Kerry.