03/30/2012 01:50 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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

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.