Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat In North Dakota Senate Race, Releases First TV Ad

03/30/2012 01:50 pm ET | Updated Mar 30, 2012

Democrat Heidi Heitkamp is out with her first TV ad in North Dakota's U.S. Senate race, a first step into a market that her Republican opponent already has spent heavily on.

The 30-second spot focuses on her family, her life in a small town and never mentions that she's a Democrat.

"Mom was a school janitor. Dad never finished high school," Heitkamp says in the ad. "And they believed in us. All seven kids went to college. I worked my way through on a road construction crew."

Politico reports that her campaign is spending about $37,000 to air the ad for a week statewide.


The Republican frontrunner in the race, Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.), has already spent at least $347,000 since he put up his first TV ad five weeks ago.

Heitkamp and Berg are running for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). As Real Clear Politics notes, "North Dakota is a reliably red state in presidential elections and hasn't voted for a Democrat on the national ticket since 1964." Republicans, therefore, see the seat as a prime pick-up opportunity, although Democrats are also hopeful about Heitkamp's chances.

CORRECTION: This article originally listed Conrad's party affiliation as (R-N.D.). It has been corrected.