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.

The race for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District seat got hotter this month, with two more candidates buying ad time.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim is a new face you may have seen this week while watching TV, and Honolulu City Council member Stanley Chang‘s first TV ad ran Thursday.

Kim spent $40,120 on 135 spots on all the major channels: KHON, KITV and Hawaii News Now, along with Oceanic Time Warner cable networks ESPN, FXNC, HGTV, TBSC and USA. Her priciest buy was for $2,000 on KITV during “Dancing With The Stars.”

In Kim’s “Happy Mother’s Day” ad, she pledges to protect Social Security and Medicare.

Chang spent $38,550 on 80 spots on KHON, KITV and Hawaii News Now. Chang spent the most, $5,600, for his ad scheduled to run during the evening news on KGMB.

In Chang’s ad, he talks about wanting to provide universal preschool and GMO labeling, along with making Hawaii energy independent and “never cutting” Social Security.

The political action committee Working Families For Hawaii also joined in the ad buying, spending $16,200 on 22 spots scheduled to run from May 19 until May 30 on KHON. The most expensive spot will air during the evening news for $3,000.

Working Families for Hawaii, which doesn’t have a website, is an independent expenditure committee, or Super PAC, that is supporting both Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit that uses technology to help people access information on government workings. Hanabusa and Schatz are running against each other in the U.S. Senate race. The Super PAC is affiliated with the Hawaii Government Employees Association, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Schatz continued with his ad purchases, with spots scheduled to air through June 8. He bought 286 ads for $78,800 on KHON, KITV and Hawaii News Now. His priciest buys were for $3,000 during KHON’s evening news.

In addition, since March 24, Schatz has spent $58,715 on 377 spots on the Oceanic Time Warner cable channels BRAVO, ENT, FOOD, HGTV, LIF, OC16, OXYG and TLC.

So far this election cycle, Schatz has spent $371,180 on his ads.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie spent $86,285 on 230 ad spots on all the major stations: KHON, KITV and Hawaii News Now. His priciest spot was for $1,820 during KGMB’s morning news.

Since April 21, Abercrombie has also spent $9,420 on 104 spots on the Oceanic Time Warner cable networks TLC, TRAV, CNBC, HGTV, FOOD, GOLF and HIST.

In total, Abercrombie has purchased $202,629 worth of ad time this year.

Schatz has now surpassed the Pacific Resource Partnership as the biggest ad buyer this election cycle; PRP hasn’t bought any more ads since the beginning of April, when it had spent more than $350,115 on ads promoting Kakaako.

Overall, $276,820 has been spent by politicians and political action committees in the past two weeks, and this year $1,070,919 worth of ads have been bought, according to Civil Beat’s most recent review of the public files.

Check out the Public Files on these candidates:

Sen. Donna Mercado Kim

Stanley Chang

Working Families For Hawaii

Sen. Brian Schatz

Gov. Neil Abercrombie

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