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Buying Time 2021- Pennsylvania

This page features Pennsylvania Supreme Court television advertisements from the 2021 election cycle.

Published: October 27, 2021

This page features Pennsylvania Supreme Court television advertisements from the 2021 election cycle. Two candidates, Kevin Brobson (R) and Maria McLaughlin (D), are competing in a partisan election for one spot on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. They are competing to fill the seat currently held by Justice Thomas Saylor, who will be retiring December 31, 2021 due to the state’s mandatory retirement age. The election will be held on November 2, 2021. A primary election took place on May 18, 2021. Kevin Brobson defeated Patricia McCullough and Paula A. Patrick in the Republican primary. Maria McLaughlin ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

 

Estimated Total Spending: $1,617,450

  • Estimated spending by Maria McLaughlin: $609,100
  • Estimated spending by Republican State Leadership Committee: $520,560
  • Estimated spending by Kevin Brobson: $206,620
  • Estimated spending by Pennsylvania Democratic Party: $184,920
  • Estimated spending by Republican Party of Pennsylvania: $62,780
  • Estimated spending by Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry: $33,470

*Spending figures last updated November 9, 2021.

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May 12 – Republicans Have a Choice

Stream Video

This ad says “Patricia McCullough accepted thousands of dollars her husband stole from an elderly client, and funneled to a charity. She ran. She even tried to cover it up and had to resign her job.”

Sponsor: Republican State Leadership Committee

Estimated Spending: $69,130


September 16 – Rejects Politics 15

Stream Video

This ad says “Kevin Brobson decides cases on facts and legal precedent, not politics. But on the law.”

Sponsor: Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Estimated Spending: $16,560


September 16 – Stick to Matters of Law 15

Stream Video

This ad says about Kevin Brobson: “He'll stick to settling disputes on matters of law, not rewriting legislation.”

Sponsor: Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Estimated Spending: $16,910


September 27 – I’ve Had It

Stream Video

This ad features several Pennsylvania voters sharing the reasons they are voting for Maria McLaughlin, including that she is a “single mom” and “the only prosecutor in the race.”

Sponsor: Maria McLaughlin

Estimated Spending: $238,740


October 11 – Follows the Law 15

Stream Video

This ad says: “Judge Brobson follows the law as written and does not issue rulings based on political or partisan labels.”

Sponsor: Republican Party of Pennsylvania

Estimated Spending: $62,780


October 13 – All Around This State

Stream Video

This ad features Maria McLaughlin discussing her history and her interactions with Pennsylvanians, and saying she is running “so real people have a real person on the Supreme Court who's just like them”

Sponsor: Maria McLaughlin

Estimated Spending: $118,460


October 18 – Wrong Choice

Stream Video

This ad calls Maria McLaughlin the wrong choice for the Supreme Court because she “chose to avoid the guilty plea of a drunk driver who admitted to killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child” and is backed by groups who support defunding the police.

Sponsor: Kevin Brobson

Estimated Spending: $75,020


October 19 – No Training Needed

Stream Video

This ad describes Maria McLaughlin’s experience as a judge, saying “as a trial judge, she’s never had a decision overturned.”

Sponsor: Maria McLaughlin

Estimated Spending: $76,980


October 19 – 400 Murders

Stream Video

This ad says of Maria McLaughlin: “She voted to overturn a life sentence for Eddie Williams, a cold-blooded drug dealing killer. After a lifetime of crime, Williams killed his partner in crime. He even robbed the dead body… Can we ever be safe with her on the Supreme Court?”

Sponsor: Republican State Leadership Committee

Estimated Spending: $323,500


October 20 – Violent Crime

Stream Video

This ad asks: “Why did Democrat Maria McLaughlin want to overturn the life sentence of a man convicted of murder in a drug related shooting?” and says “Kevin Bronson has been endorsed by law enforcement.”

Sponsor: Republican State Leadership Committee

Estimated Spending: $127,930


October 22 – Political Hack 15

Stream Video

This ad says “Last year, political hack Judge Kevin Brobson threw out thousands of legal votes. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said he was wrong.”

Sponsor: Pennsylvania Democratic Party

Estimated Spending: $92,400


October 22 – Single Mom 15

Stream Video

This ad describes Maria McLaughlin as “a single mom who worked her way through law school, a prosecutor of child abusers, a no-nonsense judge.”

Sponsor: Pennsylvania Democratic Party

Estimated Spending: $92,520


October 26 – Attacking Me

Stream Video

In this ad, Maria McLaughlin says the ads attacking her are “false and misleading.”

Sponsor: Maria McLaughlin

Estimated Spending: $174,920


October 26 – Overturn the Life Sentence

Stream Video

This ad says “violent crime is up across the Commonwealth. Why did Democrat Maria McLaughlin want to overturn the life sentence of a man convicted of murder in a drug related shooting?”

Sponsor: Kevin Brobson

Estimated Spending: $110


October 27 – Wrong Choice Revision

Stream Video

This revised version of the "Wrong Choice" advertisement released by the Brobson campaign on October 18 removes a claim that one of McLaughlin's "largest donors is indicted by the FBI for political bribery" and adds context to a discussion of one of McLaughlin's rulings.

Sponsor: Kevin Brobson

Estimated Spending: $131,600


Methodology


All data on ad airings and spending on ads are calculated and prepared by Kantar Media/CMAG, which captures satellite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s estimates do not reflect ad agency commissions or the costs of producing advertisements, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels. Cost estimates are revised by Kantar Media/CMAG when it receives updated data, resulting in some fluctuations in the reported ad spending.