First Congressional District hopeful Elizabeth Colbert Busch released a new TV ad today, while her Republican opponent, former Gov. Mark Sanford, announced he will participate in four forums.

Colbert Busch, a Charleston businesswoman and Democratic nominee, talks about her independence during her new 30-second spot —filmed with a homey background. She vows not to “take any special interest pledges or follow any party line.”

“To create jobs in South Carolina, we need a well educated and skilled work force, and we need to get rid of government waste,” she adds. “The deficit is killing jobs.”

Both Sanford’s campaign spokesman and a National Republican Congressional Committee official issued statements criticizing Colbert Busch for claiming to be independent while accepting almost $30,000 in donations from unions.

Sanford’s campaign also announced he would participate in an April 17 AARP candidate forum, as well as another on April 29 and two on April 30 — just a week before the May 7 election.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.