Naples Republican Casey Askar went on air with a new biographical ad recounting his immigrant story. The spot dropped the same day the restaurant mogul reported a $3 million candidate loan to his Congressional campaign.
It’s the latest move from the most recent candidate to jump into a crowded field in Florida’s 19th Congressional District who has quickly become a force in the race.
The advertisement “Everything I Have” tells the story of Askar’s family fleeing Iraq on his seventh birthday.
“Christians like us were being persecuted,” Askar narrates over footage of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The ad chronicles Askar joining the Marines and becoming a successful fast-food franchisee.
The ad also shows him with his family gathered at local restaurant establishments in a time seemingly before social distancing guidelines.
Askar attributes his personal success to immigrating to the U.S.
“I’ll defend America with everything I have because I owe everything I have to America,” he says in the ad.
And campaign reports indicate he means it. The Naples businessman previously announced he raised $500,000 in the first 11 days of filing. Detailed reports available Wednesday show that included $493,915 itemized contributions and $12,315 more in non-itemized donations.
With the candidate loan, he has $3,506,230 in coffers as of the end of March. He spent $23,356 of that getting the campaign in full swing.
The tone and substance of Askar’s new ad is similar to his first digital video released last month.
The original spot came out shortly after Askar announced his candidacy.
The new ad will air on television and radio waves in the region.
But he still must emerge in a field that includes eight other Republicans aiming to succeed U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney.
That includes a number of current officeholders, including Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson and state Reps. Byron Donalds, Heather Fitzenhagen and Dane Eagle.
Candidates are also crowding the outsider lane including Dr, William Figlesthaler, former Minnesota lawmaker Dan Severson, former New York Mayoral candidate Darren Aquino, and Ave Maria law school grad Christy McLaughlin.