Candidates are gearing up for the road to the primary election, buying advertising in a variety of ways. Some campaign ads started airing on TV as early as November. Darin Balaam and Sherman Boxx are both running for Sheriff of Washoe County.  Balaam has a billboard along Interstate 580, while Boxx has ads showing at Galaxy Theatres during movie previews.

"Those guys are trying to get out there and get their name known," Eric Herzik, Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Nevada said. "They're spending some of their money early but once the national offices kick in, we're going to be awash in these ads."

More candidates are likely to buy this type of advertising, placing campaign signs around town and buying billboard space. More than just advertising is happening during these early months, though.

"It's not just the billboards you see," Herzik said. "You're lining up your fundraisers, you're lining up your volunteers, you're lining up at the print shop."

Candidates cannot officially file for office until March 5 and the primary election is on June 12.  Some of these advertisements are happening much earlier than in past elections.

"There used to be like a set campaign season and now they start earlier and earlier.," Herzik said. "Some people call it the perpetual campaign."

Herzik says early ads are normally geared towards the candidate and does not include the political opponent.

"They're positive, generally," Herzik said. "They're introducing 'Here's who I am'. So that's where you start. Then you really start cranking up issue ads and attack ads and then the outside groups come in with all of their ads."

Some attack ads are already airing, including Senator Dean Heller's latest commercial that points out the failed elections of his primary opponent, Danny Tarkanian.  There are also ads that are running in a less-traditional way.  Social media is becoming more important for these races.

"Social Media is another means just to particularly target message to particular groups," Herzik said. "It also allows candidates to immediately respond to items. So if an ad goes up, you don't have to go and produce an ad and get it aired. You can respond almost in real time."

Campaign ads can show up in many kinds of media, and the races are bound to heat up as we get closer to the election.