Tom Foley, the Greenwich Republican exploring a run for governor, is out with the first television advertisement of the campaign.
The ad is raising eyebrows because it isn't running in Connecticut; it's only being shown on two cable stations in New York City.
The 30-second spot tries to court New York voters who are unhappy with incoming Mayor Bill DeBlasio, a Democrat who leans farther to the left than current Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“With your new mayor, I know many of you are thinking about leaving. Connecticut, with the same progressive policies you’re about to see in your city, may not be first on your mind,” said Foley, in the 30-second ad. “But wait a second. Connecticut next year will probably elect a new governor. When it does, Connecticut once again will be the place people want to be in the northeast."
Foley defended the ad in an interview on Monday.
"We're really just trying to make a point," he said.
That point, Foley said, is to show the economic policy differences between Democrats and Republicans.
"We're trying to appeal to New Yorkers to say, hey, there may be a change in leadership here in another year and if there is, Connecticut will be headed in another direction," said Foley.
When asked if he was concerned this strategy might backfire, Foley responded that he wasn't.
The Republican, who ran against Gov. Dannel Malloy in 2010, is only exploring a run for the same office this time around.
Political observers said they're perplexed by what Foley is doing with this ad.
"It's very unrealistic as a strategy," said Khalilah Brown-Dean, a political science professor at Quinnipiac University.
She doesn't think the ad will do much to give Foley a boost.
"I've never heard of a potential candidate trying to import voters from another state, much less another city, based on the promise of running in the future," said Brown-Dean.
Experts believe the strategy is more about fundraising than anything else.
Gov. Malloy has yet to announce his plans for re-election. He brushed off the ad after he saw it Monday morning.
"Gentlemen and -women will say and do a lot of things in the coming months as they try to secure the Tea Party Republican endorsement, and good luck to them," said Malloy.
The Connecticut Democratic Party also responded Monday.
"Tom Foley continues to pursue the most bizarre political strategy known to man," said James Hallinan, spokesman for the CT Democrats. "At the rate he's going, he won't even be his party's nominee, much less become governor."
Foley said the ad buy was a small one.