Republican Martha McSally’s first TV ad in the Congressional District 2 race highlights her “pioneer spirit” and leadership traits.

With early ballots going out in less than a month, the ad blitz is officially underway in Southern Arizona’s congressional races.

McSally’s opponent in CD2, Democrat Ron Barber, aired his first TV ad of the campaign this week, too, touting his work helping people avoid foreclosures during his time as district director for former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Barber is seeking re-election in the new district after winning the June 12 special election to complete Giffords’ terms.

In CD1, Republican Jonathan Paton and Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick have competing ads up.

And in the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Richard Carmona has already released a pair of TV ads as he tries to introduce himself to statewide voters after being largely out of the spotlight during his uncontested primary. He’s facing Republican Jeff Flake, who easily defeated Wil Cardon in the GOP primary.

McSally’s first ad paints her as a leader who can bring people together.

"Pioneering spirit is someone who goes where no one else has been before, who's going to lead the way for others. And that's the spirit we have here in the people of Southern Arizona. That's the spirit that is instilled in me,” McSally says in the ad. “We need people in Washington, DC right now that are going to lead and are going to stand up for what's right.”

During her 26-year career, McSally become the Air Force's first woman to fly in combat and first woman to command a fighter squadron in combat while at Davis-Monthan Air Force in Tucson. In 2001, she sued the Pentagon over its requirement that military women serving in Saudi Arabia wear abayas, or traditional black Muslim cloaks, off base. She said the practice was offensive to her as a Christian. She eventually won that suit.

As the incumbent with the campaign money advantage, Barber is considered by pundits as the front-runner in this race. In addition to touting the work he’s done in his three months in Congress, he’s once again telling voters that his deep roots in the community and extensive knowledge of the district and its people make him the best candidate.

Stay tuned to the Pueblo Politics blog throughout 2012 for news, updates and information about Arizona politics. You can follow Arizona Daily Star reporters Brady McCombs, Becky Pallack and Tim Steller on Twitter.