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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Democrat Nick Autiello will begin airing the first TV commercial in Rhode Island’s special election for Congress later this week, his campaign announced Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Autiello said the campaign had made a “five-figure” advertising buy on Rhode Island’s four main broadcast TV stations. The commercial will start airing Friday.

In the 30-second spot, entitled “Bold,” Autiello calls for a federal ban on assault-style weapons and legislation to lower prescription drug costs. He also touts his time in former Gov. Gina Raimondo’s administration as well as his work on climate change alongside climate envoy John Kerry.

“I’m running for Congress because I’ve dedicated my career to getting things done,” he said in the ad.

Autiello is one of 15 Democrats running in the Sept. 5 primary to replace David Cicilline in Congress. He has never held elected office, though he made an unsuccessful run for state Senate in 2018. He worked in the Commerce Department under Raimondo and more recently was a vice president at the financial firm State Street.

Autiello’s campaign reported raising $105,000 as of April 3, including a little over $11,000 loaned by the candidate himself, and he’s used the money to hire a consulting team that includes pollster Celinda Lake, former Jill Biden spokesperson Michael LaRosa, and former Pete Buttigieg ad-makers Maxwell Nunes and David Ross.

There has been no public polling in the congressional race so far, though earlier this week Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos’s campaign released an internal survey showing her with a significant lead over her opponents. Former state Rep. Aaron Regunberg was second in the Matos poll.

Other candidates running aggressive campaigns so far include former White House official Gabe Amo, state Sens. Sandra Cano and Ana Quezada, Providence City Councilor John Goncalves and Jamestown businessman Don Carlson. The filing deadline is later this month.

Ted Nesi ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

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