HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The 2022 gubernatorial election is in full swing.

Republicans haven’t announced an official challenger yet to Governor Ned Lamont. But Monday they released the first campaign attack ad of the season.

The State Republican Party realizes the incumbent is in a position of power. This ad is the first in a series where they take Lamont’s leadership to the task.

A digital ad announcer’s voice is heard as a grainy shot of the Governor hits the screen. She says “Ned Lamont’s response to COVID put Connecticut in Danger.”

The state Republican party dropped a digital attack ad on what they call Lamont’s “COVID failures.” Paid for by the State Central Committee, the ad claims Lamont’s guidance from ex-New York Governor Cuomo resulted in high COVID death rates.

They also question state testing contracts. “He also chose to line the pocket of his wife’s firm — rather than protecting the people of Connecticut,” the announcer says.

In a virtual interview, Lamont told News 8 we are still in a war against an invisible enemy: COVID.

“We don’t take cheap political shots for political advantage, not when we are trying to get everyone through a tense situation,” Lamont said.

In a statement to News 8, Lamont’s Campaign Manager Daniel Morrocco says, “This isn’t the first time the Republican Party has lied about Governor Lamont and it won’t be the last.”

Morrocco goes on to say, “Instead of lying about COVID to raise campaign money, the GOP should join Lamont in working to end this pandemic.”

“Governor Lamont is the sitting Governor, Governor Lamont is a candidate for Governor, Governor Lamont and his actions and his policies are fair game for the people of the state of Connecticut,” said Republican Party Chairman Ben Proto.

The Republican Chairman says the Governor continues to fall short and Republicans do not need a declared candidate to talk about the failures of the administration.

Democratic State Party Chair Nancy DiNardo told News 8 in part, “Instead of being concerned about a public health crisis, the GOP is gaslighting Connecticut with name-calling and lies to politicize a global pandemic and fundraise.”

The 30-second ad can only be seen online. It ends with the announcer saying, “It’s time to fire Ned Lamont.”

Sources tell News 8 a Republican opponent will be named within the next 10 days.