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John Tierney set to air first TV ad of election cycle

US Representative John Tierney is set to launch his first television ad of his 2014 re-election campaign Friday, less than two weeks before he faces a contested Democratic primary, his campaign said.

The longtime congressman, who faces a feisty challenge from former Marine Seth Moulton, is unfurling a positive 30-second spot that melds his biography with his efforts to make college more affordable.

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“My mother worked for the phone company. My father was bookkeeper,” Tierney says in the spot. A female narrator tells viewers Tierney put himself through school, “worked three jobs, nights as a janitor.”

The ad underscores his work on college loan issues and making education more affordable and the narrator says he’s “never forgotten who he’s fighting for.”

Then, speaking directly to the camera, Tierney makes his final pitch of the ad: “That’s what I do every day. Try to make people’s lives better. Try to improve the quality of their life.”

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Moulton has been airing tough ads against Tierney in recent days. One spot paints Tierney as a stale, ineffective congressman with campaign finance woes.

But a Tierney spokeswoman said the congressman’s TV effort had been planned all along.

“The positive ad that begins running tomorrow highlights John’s hard work on student loans and education,” spokeswoman Lauren Soltani said in a statement. “With only ten weeks to go before the election, we have always planned to go up on television at this point.”

The ad is set to air from Friday through Tuesday.

Tierney has bought time on Boston broadcast stations such WHDH-TV and WBZ-TV, according to a rival campaign that has been watching the purchase of airtime.

If Tierney wins his primary race against Moulton and three other Democrats, he will face Republican Richard R. Tisei in November.

Tisei narrowly lost a challenge to the congressman in 2012.

The race for the Sixth Congressional District is considered one of the most competitive in New England.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.
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