It is dueling campaign styles as the first ads hit the North Dakota governor's race, with the Republican incumbent touting his record and the Democratic challenger launching his ad as he critically noted a visit by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in support of his opponent.
State Senate Minority Leader Ryan Taylor (D-Towner) and Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) both launched commercials this week, with Dalrymple's 60-second spot highlighting his dozen years in statewide office and Taylor's 30-second spot showcasing his rural roots.
The ads have appeared just as 4,000 people gathered in Bismarck for a conference about the state's booming oil industry. The oil boom in the western part of the state has resulted in North Dakota's low unemployment rate and emergence as the nation's second largest oil-producing state, behind Texas.
Dalrymple's ad, which is airing during evening newscasts statewide and shown above, highlights his work as a governor and a lieutenant governor, specifically on economic issues and oil matters, and in connection with the state's flooding. The ad shows him walking through the state capitol, speaking with Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and strolling with his wife, Betsy. Dalrymple took office in 2010 after Republican John Hoeven stepped down to serve as a U.S. senator.
"North Dakota has an incredibly bright future," Dalrymple says. "This is our moment. We have all of the things in place that allow us to absolutely create our future."
Taylor's ad, shown below, portrays the Towner rancher on a rural road in his signature cowboy hat, talking to the camera for 30 seconds. After spending a decade in office in the state legislature, Taylor is losing his seat following a legislative redistricting. His commercial mentions that he won't run as many ads as Dalrymple but he will tour the state. The Democrat's ad was scheduled to air only on Tuesday evening.
"Because while some take credit and make money from our state's God-given resources, I want to make sure that the price we pay isn't our quality of life or what makes this place home," Taylor says in the ad.
While Jindal is not mentioned in Taylor's ad, the Republican Louisiana governor's appearance at a $1,000-a-head Dalrymple fundraiser on Monday night helped shape Taylor's message, according to Taylor's staff.
"There were not a lot of North Dakotans at those tables," Taylor spokeswoman Libby Schneider said about the Jindal event. "We did a fundraiser in a Bismarck park that night with 200 people at $10 a person."