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Shannon Liss-Riordan launches television ad in bid for attorney general

A still from a campaign ad for Shannon Liss-Riordan campaign for Attorney General.Shannon Liss-Riordan for Attorney General

Shannon Liss-Riordan, a prominent labor attorney and candidate for Massachusetts attorney general, is putting hundreds of thousands of dollars behind a new television ad in a bid to boost her name recognition and support ahead of September’s Democratic primary.

“Shannon Liss-Riordan’s called the workers’ champion,” intones a cheerful narrator in the 30-second spot, which will air starting Wednesday. “Now, she’ll be your champion as Massachusetts’ next attorney general.”

The ad will air for several weeks on both broadcast television and streaming platforms in the Boston, Springfield, and Providence media markets.

Liss-Riordan, 53, has billed herself as a “private attorney general” for her decades of work representing restaurant employees, janitors, and sex workers and taking on corporations as large as Uber, Lyft, and Amazon. The ad leans into that pitch, calling her “one of the most effective lawyers of her generation.”

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The ad buy also makes Liss-Riordan the first candidate in the three-way Democratic primary to advertise on television, in what could prove an important advantage in a race where no contender is a household name. Andrea Campbell, the former Boston city councilor who is seen as the race’s frontrunner, has reserved about $350,000 worth of airtime for later this summer.

Campbell and Liss-Riordan face Quentin Palfrey, a voting rights attorney and former official in the Obama and Biden administrations. Campbell leads in polling and fundraising, and Palfrey won Democrats’ endorsement at the party convention last month. But Liss-Riordan has a significant advantage over her opponents in her ability to contribute significant amounts of money to her own campaign. During a failed bid for US Senate in 2018, she loaned herself $3 million. This year, she has already given her campaign $500,000.

When required to set a spending cap for herself in this race, Liss-Riordan chose $12 million — a threshold she said she does not expect to meet but underscores the significant resources at her disposal.

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In a recent interview, Liss-Riordan told the Globe that financing her own campaign means she’s “not beholden to anyone.”

“I’m going to do what I need to do to get the message out there,” she said.


Emma Platoff can be reached at emma.platoff@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emmaplatoff.