The battle for the state Senate begins with GOP pieces

A couple of Republican state Senate candidates have begun distributing pieces to voters to try to frame the debate in districts critical to determining state Senate control.

Following in Michael Roberson's footsteps a couple of weeks after he set the tone in the other competitive district, the minority leader's handpicked candidates, Becky Harris and Patricia Farley, have kicked off their own general election campaigns. The pieces they are dropping at voter doors are attached here.

Harris, taking on state Sen. Justin Jones in arguably THE key race of the season, is starting with what the consultants like to call a "compare and contrast" piece and that Democrats surely will call a heinous negative attack. Just as Roberson did in his piece, Harris is described as "not your typical Republican," saying she fights Wall Street banks, advocates for kids and supports more healthcare. That is, like Roberson, she sounds like a Democrat (she used to be one).

But then she pivots and uses Jones' representation as a lawyer of Bank of America against him as well as trying to puncture one of his perceived strengths, his "Homeowners Bill of Rights," by pointing out it can't regulate some financial institutions. And then the issue that Team Roberson hopes could prove decisive: Jones, like all Democrats, refused to support the minority leader's mining tax plan and, as the mailer states, took gifts from Barrick.

Game on.

In the open seat Farley is seeking against Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop, she also is "not your typical Republican" and talks of schools, funding education (mining) and compassion. It's all positive. So far.

We now see that consultant Billy Rogers, overseeing all the campaigns, will try to make his GOP candidates look like the kind of folks that Democrats and independents can vote for in November. This is going to be fun.