The last major candidate to announce a run for Minnesota governor has become the first to put a campaign commercial on statewide TV.
Ads for Attorney General Lori Swanson, a DFLer who launched her bid for governor on June 4 with U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan as her running mate, will begin running Wednesday, June 13, on broadcast and cable TV.
The 30-second commercial, titled “Proven, Progressive Leaders,” features newspaper headlines touting Swanson’s work as attorney general on issues like immigration and the opioid epidemic, along with Nolan’s work in Congress (without specifying issues).
Swanson’s late entry into the governor’s race came days after the DFL state party convention in Rochester where she had sought the endorsement to run again for attorney general. But Swanson withdrew from the endorsing contest after holding only a narrow lead over a challenger in the first round of balloting.
Now, with nine weeks to go until the Aug. 14 DFL primary, Swanson is trying to win over voters in a field that includes the party’s endorsed candidate — state Rep. Erin Murphy of St. Paul — and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz.
On the Republican side, the most well-known candidates are Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
In a statement, the Swanson campaign said the new ad “underscores the Swanson/Nolan ticket’s proven record as problem solvers who get things done for Minnesota.”
James Haggar, Murphy’s campaign manager, said Swanson and Walz are attempting to pick up on the “progressive” message and positions that have attracted supporters to the Murphy campaign. He added that a campaign “focused solely on media buys isn’t a winning strategy.”
Haggar said Murphy’s campaign would be advertising and deploying other campaign strategies. Representatives from the other campaigns did not return messages seeking comment on their ad plans.