(WASHINGTON) -- His re-election contest may be 20 months away, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., already has an ad targeted specifically at women voters that will run this week in his home state.
The ad, which includes a television, radio and online component, includes McConnell's wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, looking directly into the camera as she criticizes "far left special interests."
"You've seen the ads attacking my husband," Chao says in the 30-second spot, which will begin running Thursday in Lexington and Louisville. "As Mitch McConnell's wife, I've learned to expect them. Now, far-left special interests are also attacking my ethnicity, even attacking Mitch's patriotism, because he's married to me."
Chao is hitting back after a group called Progress Kentucky, a super PAC aimed at defeating McConnell, posted tweets last month that highlighted Chao's Chinese ancestry. After first defending the tweets, criticism from both sides of the aisle (including possible candidate Ashley Judd) led them to apologize and delete the tweets.
The six-figure ad buy will be up for a week. McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton called the candidate "a tremendous champion for Kentucky" who "goes to bat for the commonwealth every day."
"Liberal special-interest groups across the country are sure to try every dirty trick in the book to tear him down, but our campaign will fight as hard as Mitch fights for us and make sure we spread his positive message to every voter in the state," Benton said in a statement.
Judd isn't even a declared candidate yet, but her supporters believe McConnell has a problem with women voters, and say this ad seems to show he's worried about them too.
Judd's most vocal backer in the state, Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., in reacting to the news of the ad, told ABC News "clearly Mitch knows that he is in very deep water with women in Kentucky."
Yarmuth, along with others who want Judd to get into the race, note that McConnell's vote against the Violence Against Women Act could give the actress an advantage.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio