For more than 20 years, the people of northeastern Oklahoma saw Andy Ewing in local TV commercials urging them - with a signature finger snap - to buy cars and trucks from his dealerships in Muskogee and Wagoner.
Now they see him on TV asking them to send him to Congress.
Time will soon tell whether recognition from the former turns into support for the latter.
Brad Carson, the Democratic opponent, suggests in a campaign commercial of his own that Ewing's background is a liability:
'Before you buy into millionaire car salesman Andy Ewing's smear campaign, read the fine print,' the TV spot says.
An independent poll shows Republican Ewing trailing Carson, a 33-year-old attorney and former Defense Department employee. Both are in their first races for elective office. A Ewing poll shows the race to be a near dead heat.
Democrats have a 2-to-1 registration advantage in the district, but for the past three terms voters sent conservative Republican Tom Coburn to Washington as their representative.
Coburn, a physician, stuck by his vow to impose term limits on himself and did not seek re-election this year. Ewing has made the same term-limit vow. He also prom-ised, if elected, to refuse a congressional pension.
Greg Treat, Ewing's field representative, said term limits and abortion are important issues in the race. Ewing opposes abortion. Carson favors a woman's right to choose.
Other top issues are Social Security, Medicare and health care - just as they are in the presidential race and in other competitive congressional races across the country.
Because the 2nd Congressional District of Oklahoma is one of the poorest in the country, Carson also has been touting an economic development plan, said campaign manager Chebon Marshall.
Carson promises to tell businesses interested in locating new plants and offices in the area that it has good schools and roads and an educated work force with a strong work ethic.
Although outside groups, including the national parties, are trying to influence the election, Marshall said the candidates have been civil to one another, the car salesman crack notwithstanding.
'He calls us `lawyer' Brad Carson. For a lot of people down here, it's a tough call between a lawyer and car salesman,' Marshall said.
Ewing, 62, is the majority owner of Andy Ewing Oldsmobile-GMC Trucks Inc. of Wagoner, Okla. He sold his Toyota dealership in Muskogee in 1997. He has a long record of volunteer work for community organizations.
Said Ewing: 'People, regardless of political party, want to elect someone who is interested in serving them, not in starting a career in politics.'