Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 | 11:36 a.m.
In an effort not to repeat the same mistake his predecessor did, Democrat John Oceguera is preparing to launch a Spanish-language ad campaign in his race for the 3rd Congressional District.
Two years ago, U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., lost the seat to Republican Joe Heck by fewer than 2,000 votes. Some attribute the narrow loss to a less-than-aggressive effort by Titus to woo Hispanic voters.
Heck, on the other hand, spent heavily on Spanish-language television ads—by some estimates he outspent Titus by a factor of four. Heck beat the Republican trend two years ago, outperforming his Republican ballot-mates among Hispanic voters.
Now, as Oceguera works to unseat Heck, he is working to win back some of that ground.
While Hispanic voters make up a sizable bloc in Nevada, CD3 isn’t the most ethnically diverse district in the state. Only 16 percent of voters in the district are Hispanic.
Still, in a tight race, the campaign is loath not to reach out to any important voting blocks.
“John has continued his work reaching out and building relationships by attending community events, holding meetings with key community leaders, and speaking out on issues critical to the Latino community and Southern Nevada as well, including his support of the Dream Act and getting Nevadans back to work.," said Oceguera’s campaign manager, Adam Weiss.
The Spanish-language ad campaign, which begins Wednesday on television and radio, focuses on Oceguera’s biography, stressing that he was raised by a single mother and worked his way through college. It also touts his endorsement by former President Bill Clinton and accuses Heck of pursuing a “radical agenda.”
The campaign expects to spend about $80,000 on Spanish-language ads this year.
But while the Oceguera campaign is hoping to be more aggressive than Titus, they will be playing catch-up.
Heck has been up with Spanish-language ads for about a month. So far the campaign has spent between $70,000 and $100,000 on the Spanish airwaves and has been working a coordinated outreach effort among Hispanic voters since the beginning of the campaign season.