A republican primary debate will play on on the March 31 episode of the ABC drama

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[BRIGHTCOVE “” “” “” “auto” ]Mellie Grant approves this message.

Scandal‘s former first lady is vying for the republican nomination for president on the ABC drama, and PEOPLE has the exclusive First Look at her first campaign ad.

Mellie (Bellamy Young) has had quite a season so far. After moving out of the White House and divorcing her husband, President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), the freshman senator has enlisted Fitz’s former mistress turned live-in girlfriend Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) to run her campaign.

On Thursday’s episode of Scandal, Mellie will face off against her Republican primary competitors – Vice President Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani) and business man Hollis Doyle (Gregg Henry) – at a republican primary debate hosted by former vice president Sally Langston (Kate Burton).

Scandal airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.