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Huntsman to air 1st TV ad of his own


MANCHESTER, NH -- As the saying goes, better late than never?

With less than one week to go before New Hampshire votes, Jon Huntsman's campaign has announced he has raised enough money to air his first TV ad on the state's largest television station, thanks to a special fundraising effort along with a major personal contribution by Huntsman himself.

Spokesman Tim Miller told NBC News that the ad will go up "in a day or two" on WMUR, New Hampshire's largest television station. The 30-second advertisement, entitled "Only One," calls Huntsman a "consistent conservative" and runs through Huntsman's resume and hits on what has become his closing argument: the "trust and economic deficits."

"The ad will drive home a message Gov. Huntsman is uniquely qualified to deliver to New Hampshire voters about closing our economic deficit, creating jobs and restoring trust in Washington," Miller said on Wednesday.

Huntsman's inaugural ad will hit the airwaves just as the campaign spotlight shifts to New Hampshire from Iowa, which Huntsman skipped.

The ad is only possible thanks to a targeted online appeal for contributions to get Huntsman on the air starting late last week, coupled with Huntsman's own wealth. Two days after fundraising started, Huntsman and his wife Mary Kaye decided to inject personal cash into campaign in the ninth hour.

As of this writing, the campaign had raised $88,115 from donors alone, according to its website. Most of this will be matched by Huntsman, though the campaign could not yet confirm exactly how much will be matched by the candidate and how much was raised before his pledge to match.

When the ad makes it on the air, it will be the fourth spot featuring Huntsman to go up here. Three pro-Huntsman ads from Our Destiny PAC, a super PAC supporting his candidacy, have aired in New Hampshire over the past several months.

Our Destiny, according to NBC's ad-tracking numbers, has spent $1.8 million in New Hampshire -- more than any other campaign or political action committee. That's followed by Ron Paul at $1.5 million, Mitt Romney at $1 million, and Rick Perry at $230,000.