It may have come as a surprise to Fox News Channel viewers in the Richmond area taking in the Republican National Convention, television ads indirectly attacking House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by his opponent E. Wayne Powell.
Powell bought enough ad space on Fox News Channel that the ad ran at least once every hour during the entire convention.
Here is a look at the ad:
The ad is designed to attract republicans which make up a huge majority of the 7th congressional district. Powell is gambling that many of them are unhappy with Cantor, even if they share the same party affiliation.
"It hasn't mattered if they're party-affiliated or independent," said Powell in a statement. "I have yet to knock on a single door where the person answering is happy with what's going on in the Cantor-run Congress."
Cantor chuckled when we asked him about the ad during an interview from Tampa Bay during the convention, but then said that he is "taking this race very seriously."
In 2010 the incumbent was criticized for not engaging his then opponent Rick Waugh. This time around Cantor quickly agreed to a debate with Powell.
"We are looking forward to a debate with Mr. Powell on the issues that will effect so many people in our Commonwealth," Cantor said.
Powell who is for the most part unknown in the 7th district, last made headlines when he represented the group of pro-choice protesters who were arrested for marching on the steps of the Capitol during the General Assembly session. The local attorney has run a spirited race to this point, driven by his well known political strategist Dave "Mudcat" Saunders.
Saunders believes there is enough fatigue in Cantor's district that a strong candidate could topple the powerful leader.
"Without question, Cantor's abysmal approval rating is the reason Republicans aren't letting him address the convention," Saunders said. He believes the more people get to know Powell the more Cantor could face a tight race. Saunders has already engineered quite a bit of national face time for Powell's candidacy on cable news channels. In particular liberal talk shows on MSNBC.
The appearances have helped Powell's fund raising efforts.
Despite the pep in the step of the Powell effort, few view Cantor as being in any danger come November. While Cantor appears to be prepared to engage Powell to a degree, expect him to run a campaign based primarily on his accomplishments. It will be rare that he even mentions his opponent.
There could be some fireworks, but it will take quite a bit to make the race truly competitive.
Extended clips from Cantor's comments can be found below: