Heitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up

Heitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up

Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (D-N.D.) launched a new ad on Friday that stresses her "effective" record as the senator gears up for a tough reelection race in November.

The 30-second ad, which was provided first to The Hill, touts her designation on the Center for Effective Lawmaking’s list of top 10 most effective senators. Heitkamp was ranked ninth among Democratic senators in the 114th Congress late last year.

The spot runs through a list of bills she’s helped pass, which includes her bipartisan work with several Republican colleagues. That includes ending the ban on crude oil exports with Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump backs another T stimulus, urges governors to reopen schools MORE (R-Alaska) as well as passing the Border Security Act with then-Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteBottom line Bottom line Bottom Line MORE (R-N.H.), which strengthened the northern border.

The ad is a six-figure TV buy and five-figure digital buy running statewide.

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“With Washington so divided, Heidi is a rare senator who doesn’t get bogged down by partisan politics – she knows both sides of the aisle have good ideas,” said Heitkamp campaign manager Libby Schneider. “Heidi brings small-town North Dakota common sense to the Senate, and that’s why she’s been successful getting real results for the folks she serves.”

In an interview with The Hill, Heitkamp said her ads this cycle have been positive, focused on her background and time as a senator. She noted that her opponent, Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerGOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle GOP skeptical of polling on Trump Senate passes sanctions bill targeting China over Hong Kong law MORE (R-N.D.) has run negative spots targeting her.

Cramer’s latest ad criticizes Heitkamp for her support of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden leads Trump in Florida, tied in Arizona and Texas: poll We haven't seen how low it can go There's a big blue wave coming MORE in 2016. President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE went on to win North Dakota by nearly 36 points.

“[The ads] have been more about me. It would be interesting to see the kinds of efforts he has led, not just voted for, but led,” Heitkamp said.

“Because all of the efforts we outlined in that ad, it’s not just that these things got done, these are things that I have led and worked very hard to get accomplished.”

North Dakota is expected to be one of the most competitive Senate races of the cycle. Heitkamp is one of 10 Senate Democrats up for reelection in a state that Trump won.

The latest independent poll out of North Dakota has Cramer with a narrow lead. A Mason-Dixon poll shows Cramer leading Heitkamp 48 to 44 percent, which is within the poll's margin of error.

But Cramer, who was recruited into the race by the president, has recently vented frustration with the White House and Trump’s relationship with Heitkamp. The Washington Post recently reported that Cramer got in touch with White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and the congressman has also publicly bashed Trump’s legislative affairs director Marc Short.

Unlike other vulnerable incumbents, Heitkamp hasn’t endured the same attacks from the president. Trump mentioned Heitkamp at a bill signing last month and he invited her onstage at a tax event in North Dakota last year.

Trump has held several campaign-style rallies in recent months as a way to help boost Republicans running in competitive Senate and House races. And he’s used that opportunity to attack their Democratic opponents, at times giving them pejorative nicknames.

Trump is holding a rally in Fargo next Wednesday, where he’s likely to campaign on behalf of Cramer as well as address his recent North Korea summit and the economy.

Heitkamp said that regardless of what the president says at next Wednesday’s rally, she’ll continue to find ways to work with him.

“The president is going to say what the president says,” Heitkamp said. “Obviously he has a relationship with Kevin, that doesn’t mean that I can’t work with the president in the future.”