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Daniel Malloy

New hoops-themed Michelle Nunn ad features her dad

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Democratic U.S. Senate Michelle Nunn is out with a new television ad today that for the first time brings in her father, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn.

Michelle says she followed her father’s footsteps into basketball but not politics, though she is now attempting to follow him into the Senate. The bio ad is another attempt to introduce herself to voters ahead of the May 20 Democratic primary in which she is a big favorite, as the Republicans in the race take shots at each other.

Here’s what the New York Times wrote last year about Nunn’s hoops career:

Ms. Nunn left Perry when she was 6, moving “against my will,” she quipped, to Bethesda, Md. She played basketball at the private all-girls National Cathedral School in Washington, and later trounced colleagues during late-night Nerf ball games. (“I am a very fierce competitive Nerf ball player,” Ms. Nunn said.)

Dikembe Mutombo blocks a shot in this 1997 AJC file photo.

Dikembe Mutombo blocks a shot in a 1997 playoff game against Detroit (AJC file).

An email to Nunn supporters introducing the ad comes from the pen of Dikembe Mutombo, former Atlanta Hawks and Geico ad star:

“There aren’t a lot of things that get past me. So when people tell me that we should send more of the same type of leadership to Washington, I say no, no, no.

“Especially now that Georgia has the chance to send an extraordinary leader to the U.S. Senate — Michelle Nunn. 

“Over the years I’ve worked with Michelle on service projects at Points of Light and I have seen first-hand how she brings people together and empowers them to solve problems. Collaboration, teamwork, civility, and a can-do spirit – these are all qualities Michelle brings with her to everything she does.”

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: The AJC’s Janel Davis reports that at an event today at Georgia Tech, Nunn weighed in on Georgia’s new gun law signed last week by Gov. Nathan Deal.

In response to a question by Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News, Nunn said the legislation is a state issue, but she does share the concerns of some of Georgia’s law enforcement officers.

Otherwise, Nunn spoke about improving college access and affordability.

She discussed the Obama administration’s announcement last week about new standards for teaching programs. The federal education department will propose regulations for teacher training programs this summer, along with public input, with plans for final rules established in a year. The goal is to improve the quality of the nation’s teachers, and hold the programs that certify them accountable:

“When you think about standards of education, I think you need to look to teachers to help form that. Making sure that their input is integrated, incorporated, how they are put together and framed, and also how they are implemented, because the standards are only as good as the implementation of them.

“So first and foremost, I would want to make sure that there is local participation and teacher participation and standards and that we are encourage the very best teachers, those that are going to get their degrees in education, and making sure they have the very best training, and curriculum for success in the classroom.”

On the campaign, Nunn touted Cook Political Report’s rating of the Georgia Senate race as a toss-up.

At the end of her education talks, “people usually say, ‘well that’s all good, but can you actually win?’” Nunn said. “We are getting huge traction. We are competitive in the polls; even, or even ahead of the Republican contenders.”

A Democrat-leaning survey in January did show Nunn tied or ahead of the Republicans, though a more recent Channel 2 Action News poll showed David Perdue and Phil Gingrey beating her.

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