Last week the NDGOP sent out an email criticizing Fargo businessman Doug Burgum over a radio ad he was running touting his rating from the NRA.
The NDGOP said Burgum wasn’t “telling the whole truth” because the NRA gave its endorsement to Stenehjem. But as I pointed out, all Burgum’s ad did was mention that he got the highest possible rating someone who hasn’t held public office before can get.
Now two Burgum surrogates – who also happen to be past chairmen of the NDGOP – are firing back calling the attack on Burgum’s ad “disgusting.” You can read the letter they’ve written, which landed in my email inbox this morning, below.
“Whoever authorized the email is doing a serious disservice against our party,” they add.
I’ll admit to being puzzled as to why the NDGOP sent out that email. Sure, Stenehjem is the party’s endorsed candidate. He won at the NDGOP state convention in April, and not only did Burgum not win he took third place. But I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the state party go after a Republican candidate in a contested primary like this before.
If the Stenehjem campaign wanted to get after Burgum for that NRA ad, as much as you or I might disagree with the criticism, why didn’t they do it directly instead of through the state party?
I suspect this point from Emineth and Harms will ring true for a lot of people: “Donors want their contributions to go towards defeating Democrats; not disparaging one of our own.”
The Burgum campaign has invested a lot in branding Stenehjem as the establishment, “good old boy” candidate and their candidate as the outsider looking to shake things up. Which is kind of rich given that Doug Burgum is the consummate political insider and has been for years and years.
But you know what helps burnish Burgum’s version of that story? The state party attacking Burgum.
By the way, Burgum has also launched a new TV ad touting his position on gun rights issues:
Here’s the Harms/Emineth letter: