Hitting the airwaves with the first television and radio ads for his re-election campaign, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann makes no mention of his voting record or first term in Congress.
Instead, the commercial focuses on experiences from the congressman's childhood in an effort to show voters that Fleischmann is "one of us."
"When I was 9 years old, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. When I was 13, she passed away," Fleischmann says, over the sounds of a piano. "It was very, very difficult, but I had my faith. We didn't grow up with much, but both of my parents taught me that if you worked hard and did the right thing, you could achieve the American dream."
Besides the obligatory "I approve this message" signoff, that's all voters will hear from the congressman. The ad does not mention any of his positions, votes or accomplishments, and no reference is made to his decades spent working as a collections attorney in Chattanooga.
Jordan Powell, spokesman for the Fleischmann campaign, described the commercials as an opportunity to reintroduce himself to constituents.
"This is just a chance to reintroduce Chuck to some of the voters and some of the new voters he hasn't represented yet," Powell said.
The ads, which began airing on 3rd District stations this week, also find Fleischmann subtly distinguishing himself from his two most serious Republican opponents, both of whom come from more prominent family backgrounds than his.
Posing challenges to Fleischmann are both Scottie Mayfield, the third-generation head of Mayfield Dairy Farms, and Weston Wamp, the 25-year-old son of former 3rd District Rep. Zach Wamp, who served from 1995 to 2011. Although the ad never mentions either of the candidates by name, it continues a pattern of Fleischmann using his "humble beginnings" to appeal to voters.
The congressman posted a video detailing a stint he spent working at a McDonald's in Kingston, Tenn., last week, and on Friday, Fleischmann will spend the morning at the Lupton Library at UTC. A news release for the event said Fleischmann would be working a shift similar to the "job he had in college."
Attempts by Nooga.com to reach both the Wamp and Mayfield campaigns were unsuccessful, although a recent Times Free Press report said Wamp would begin airing an ad Thursday.
Along with Mayfield and Wamp, Ron Bhalla is a Republican candidate in the 3rd District race. Dr. Mary Headrick and Bill Taylor are running as Democrats.
The primaries are Aug. 2.