Essaibi George takes campaign to TV with $200K ad buy

The Essaibi George campaign launched a campaign ad on Tuesday. (Screenshot)

The airwaves are starting to get crowded with mayoral advertisements. Annissa Essaibi George, one of the five major mayoral contenders, on Tuesday released a 30-second spot that her campaign says will run on broadcast, cable, streaming services, and digital platforms. The campaign is spending $200,000 for two weeks of airtime.

The ad, called “Together,” focuses on her time as a city councillor at-large, a Boston teacher, owner of the knitting shop known as the Stitch House, and the mother of four boys. The Dorchester native, whose father immigrated from Tunisia and whose mother is Polish, was first elected citywide in 2015.

Essaibi George, who grew up in a Dorchester three-decker, also touts endorsements from five unions: public employees with AFSCME Council 93, Boston firefighters local 718, IBEW Local 2222, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and the city’s EMS workers.

“Never one to shy away from hard work and opportunities to collaborate, Annissa will draw from her unique experiences to lead this city, while also fighting to ensure that everyone has a voice in shaping Boston’s bright future,” Cam Charbonnier, her campaign manager, said in a statement.

South End state Rep. Jon Santiago was the first candidate to hit the airwaves in June, and the first to drop out of the race after failing to gain traction in publicly available polls.

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A super PAC known as “Better Boston” has been supporting City Councillor Andrea Campbell’s mayoral bid, launching two ads touting her candidacy and spending nearly $940,000 overall. "Bostonians for Real Progress," a super PAC supporting Essaibi George, has formed but hasn't reported any activity yet.

Essaibi George’s ad comes a week after the Boston Globe reported on a potential violation of the state conflict of interest law due to her council office’s efforts to block a project next door to a condo building that her husband, Doug George, built.

Her campaign told the newspaper that they’ve reached out to the state Ethics Commission for guidance on the questions it had raise. She later said that her husband, who is also a landlord, would “conduct no new business” in Boston if she is elected mayor.

Asked about the ethics questions, Campbell told reporters, “She clearly is looking into whether or not there were violations there.” Public officials are held to “higher standards,” she added.

John Barros, a fellow mayoral contender, called the Globe’s report “troubling if true.” “Failure to comply with the state ethics laws by concealing personal interest in real estate development projects raises legitimate concerns about the misuse of public office for personal gain,” he said in a statement.

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