The Republican candidate for Kansas secretary of state accused the Democratic incumbent Thursday of improperly using a new, tax-financed television ad to campaign for himself.

The Republican candidate for Kansas secretary of state accused the Democratic incumbent Thursday of improperly using a new, tax-financed television ad to campaign for himself.

Republican Kris Kobach criticized the 30-second spot, which began airing statewide Wednesday, because it ends with a picture of his opponent, Democrat Chris Biggs, after giving information to promote advance voting. Kobach, a law professor, said he’s looking into whether the ad violates campaign finance laws.

Carol Williams, executive director of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, said such ads don’t violate the law unless they expressly advocate a candidate’s election or defeat. The ad says only that it is “brought to you” by Biggs’ office.

Biggs spokesman Tyler Longpine said the ad, which will be aired through Oct. 28, is an attempt to inform Kansans about obtaining ballots that can be mailed to or dropped off at county election offices before the Nov. 2 general election. The ad is part of a campaign financed by a federal grant. The air time cost about $159,000, Longpine said.

Kobach called a news conference to denounce the ad, hoping to undercut one of Biggs’ main campaign themes, that Kobach would make the secretary of state’s office too partisan. Kobach is a prominent Kansas conservative and a former state GOP chairman.

“My opponent, Mr. Chris Biggs, has a habit of declaring that he is a nonpolitical and scrupulously neutral public servant,” Kobach said. “He has been telling us a lie. He is now engaged in crass politicking at taxpayer expense.”

The 30-second add features actors saying that advance voting in Kansas is easy. They urge viewers to contact county election offices or go online to learn how to get a ballot. Biggs is shown sitting at his desk, and his image is on screen for 4 seconds.

“He’s attacking an honest effort to inform voters about their rights,” Longpine said.