Heitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up

Heitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up

Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampAnnual scorecard ranks GOP environmental efforts far below Dems in 2018 Overnight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary 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 MurkowskiThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget 12 Republican senators defy Trump on emergency declaration  MORE (R-Alaska) as well as passing the Border Security Act with then-Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSchultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid Bottom Line US, allies must stand in united opposition to Iran’s bad behavior MORE (R-N.H.), which strengthened the northern border.

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

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 CramerOvernight Health Care: Dems demand answers on rule targeting Planned Parenthood | Senators tell FDA to speed approval of generic insulin | Nearly 8 in 10 say drug prices are 'unreasonable' in new poll Senators tell FDA to speed up approvals of generic insulin Trump applauded for walking away from 'bad' North Korea deal MORE (R-N.D.) has run negative spots targeting her.

Cramer’s latest ad criticizes Heitkamp for her support of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run MORE in 2016. President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report 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.”