*Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.
A super PAC supporting Rick Perry's presidential campaign is wasting no time going on the air in early-voting Iowa, launching the first major ad buy of its kind for the primary season.
As the former governor prepared to make his 2016 bid official Thursday, federal disclosures showed the Opportunity and Freedom PAC was buying air time in two of the Hawkeye State's biggest cities, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. The ads are scheduled to start Friday, as Perry heads to Iowa for a post-announcement swing.
Austin Barbour, the Mississippi-based GOP strategist who runs the super PAC, described the buy as a "very aggressive" statewide purchase that costs "well into the six figures." It also has a digital media component, he added.
"We know now is a great opportunity to go and reintroduce Gov. Perry to voters in Iowa, and we're taking advantage of that," Barbour said.
The super PAC is spending over $185,000 to go on the air, according to a media-tracking source.
The 30-second ad that Iowans will see talks up Perry's humble upbringing in West Texas as well as his gubernatorial record.
"How does a nation that's lost find its way back? Start in a place called Paint Creek, Texas," a narrator says over images of Perry's hometown. "In a farmhouse with no indoor plumbing, a boy named Rick Perry learned lessons of strength, resilience and faith. As governor, he helped create more than 2 million new jobs and fought to secure the border while others did nothing. We can find our strength again — if we look in the right place."
The buy is somewhat unusual — and notable. Presidential candidates or the groups backing them rarely go on the air this early in the election cycle. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, went on the air in Iowa over Easter weekend — less than a week after announcing his candidacy — but the buy was much smaller than what Perry's super PAC has placed.
Perry supporters were gathered Thursday morning inside a hangar at North Texas' Addison Airport, where the former governor formally announced he was launching a second bid for the White House.