Editor’s Note: Civil Beat is visiting local TV stations again this campaign season to track how much money is being spent on political candidates and issues. The Public File is a regular series that compiles records kept by network and cable stations in Honolulu showing ad buys made by campaigns and political committees. The records, which are required to be made public under federal law, are expected to be posted publicly on the stations’ websites beginning in July. But for now we’re still picking up paper copies, scanning them into our system and posting them online. Check out our Ad Watch series, too, in which Civil Beat political writers review the latest political spots airing on TV and the Internet.

Congressional contender Mark Takai has joined the political candidates vying for your attention during your favorite TV shows.

Takai, who’s running in the crowded race for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District seat, recently bought his first 10 TV spots at a cost of $3,250. The ads are running on KGMB and KHNL.

The 30-second spot, which began airing about three weeks ago, focuses on his military experience.

Takai, Sen. Brian Schatz, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie spent more than $172,000 on ads in the last couple weeks, according to public files made available by local TV stations.

Schatz, who is in a close race with Rep. Colleen Hanabusa for the Senate seat, spent more than $118,000 on TV time for 423 ad spots slated to air through May 18 on all the major stations: KHON, KITV, KGMB, KHNL and KFVE.

His ad, titled “Opportunity”, aims to position himself as a strong supporter of women.

Schatz’s priciest purchase: $2,250 for 30 seconds during “Grey’s Anatomy” on KITV. He’s now spent $233,665 for more than 800 TV spots this election cycle.

Abercrombie spent more than $50,000, his first ad buys since January. He bought 157 spots spread out on all the major stations: KHON, KITV, KGMB, KHNL and KFVE. His most expensive time slot was for $1,800, during “Dancing With the Stars” on KITV.

Titled “Values”, his ad talks about the importance of early childhood education.

Abercrombie initially had a contract with KITV from May 5 to May 18 for 22 spots at a cost of $9,020, but he cancelled it, records show.

Abercrombie has spent a total of $106,924 on 272 ad spots this year.

The Pacific Resource Partnership is still the biggest spender, with $350,115 worth of ads bought about Kakaako.

Overall, $742,829 has been spent on ads in 2014 by politicians and political action committees, according to Civil Beat’s most recent review of the public files.

Check out the Public Files on these candidates:

Gov. Neil Abercrombie

Sen. Brian Schatz

Rep. Mark Takai

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