Tolman TV ad emphasizes support for abortion rights

A screen-grab from former state senator Warren Tolman’s ad.
A screen-grab from former state senator Warren Tolman’s ad.

Former state senator Warren Tolman, one of two Democrats running for attorney general, is launching a TV ad emphasizing his support for abortion rights.

In the 30-second spot, he references the fatal shootings of two staff members at abortion clinics in Brookline in 1994, and his subsequent efforts in the Legislature to pass a “buffer zone” law to protect “women exercising their right to choose.”

“I’m Warren Tolman, and as attorney general, I’ll focus on gun violence and violence against women,” he says, in the ad, which is set to begin airing Tuesday.


Tolman, who faces former state assistant attorney general Maura Healey in the Sept. 9 primary, also mentions what has been a key emphasis of his campaign: mandating so-called “smart gun” technology aimed at only allowing gun owners or their designees to operate firearms.

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“I won’t wait to require fingerprint trigger locks on new guns sold,” he says in the spot, appearing to craft a contrast with his party opponent.

Healey has said she does not think the attorney general’s office has that authority under current law and would need the go-ahead from the Legislature.

A Tolman campaign aide said the spot would air on statewide television backed by $170,000 this week and $250,000 next week, substantial sums. The aide said that Tolman had booked $1 million worth of TV time for the weeks leading up to the primary.

Public polls have found both candidates to be unknown by wide swaths of likely voters, so television ads are likely to be particularly important in introducing them and, perhaps, determining the race’s outcome.


Tolman has outpaced Healey in fund-raising. Healey had $568,000 in the bank at the end of last month, while Tolman had $962,000, according to filings with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

On the Republican side, John B. Miller is running for attorney general.

Attorney General Martha Coakley is not running for reelection, vying instead to become governor.

Joshua Miller can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.