New York Mayoral Race Begins a New Phase: The TV Ad Blitz

The ad wars in the New York City mayor’s race are officially on.

The city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, is kicking off his first television ad campaign this week, marking the beginning of a new, intense and expensive phase of the race eight weeks out from the June 22 primary that is likely to determine the next mayor of New York.

While other lower-profile Democratic candidates — Shaun Donovan, the former secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Raymond J. McGuire, a former Citigroup executive — have already been advertising on television, Mr. Stringer’s new buy will be the most significant on-air expenditure of any of the top-polling candidates to date.

After months of campaigning by Zoom and, increasingly, at in-person events, the candidates are moving toward pricey on-air advertising, signaling the start of an aggressive chapter in the race, designed to capture the attention of voters who have yet to tune in to the most consequential mayoral contest in a generation.

Mr. Stringer, one of the best-funded candidates in the contest, intends to stay on air with advertising through the primary, his campaign said. His first ad, starting Wednesday, is running on broadcast, cable and digital, and the weeklong initial buy cost just under $1 million, his campaign said.

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