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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Cheri Beasley, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, has launched her first television campaign ad in the days leading up to a visit to Guilford County.

Beasley, the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, is favored prohibitively to beat out 10 other Democrats in the Primary Election on May 17 in a race to fill the seat the retiring Republican Richard Burr is vacating. There are 14 Republicans and a Libertarian also seeking the seat.

US Senate candidate profile: Cheri Beasley
US Senate candidate Cheri Beasley (WGHP FILE)

Beasley will meet with employees of Replacements Ltd. in McLeansville at 10:15 a.m. on Friday. Her office says she will talk about job creation, a day after President Joe Biden visited Greensboro to discuss economic expansion, too.

Beasley earlier this month announced that in the first quarter of the year her campaign had taken in $3.5 million and has about $5 million to spend. Other candidates’ reports to the Federal Election Commission are due by Friday.

Then she spent some of that cash on a TV ad that is running statewide to tout her record as a public defender, judge and chief justice.

Her campaign said the ad is called “The Road,” and it shows Beasley driving across the state and discussing her career path and delivering her promises for serving in the Senate.

Beasley’s path to the nomination cleared when two of her chief competitors, state Sen. Erica Smith and state Sen. Jeff Jackson, pulled out to run for Congress in the 2nd and14th Districts, respectively. Among those in the field is Tobias LaGrone, a minister and therapist from Greensboro.

Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance), who represents the 13th District, is leading the polls in a race against former Gov. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark Walker in a 14-person Republican field.