Earlier this week I took a look at the fundraising in the state’s legislative races, and highlighted a few of the closer competitions. Despite Republicans having a massive fundraising advantage statewide, there are a few areas where Democrats are taking a stand.
The District 35 race, in particularly, is hotly contested. Democrat Erin Oban is challenging Republican incumbent Margaret Sitte for the Senate seat.
Sitte, an outspoken social conservative, has long drawn the ire of Democrats, and Oban has strong political connections. She’s the wife of state Democrat party executive director Chad Oban, and also ran 2012 gubernatorial candidate Ryan Taylor’s campaign. She’s raised a huge amount of money to challenge Sitte; just under $100,000 counting funds raised by Hill-Oban, her House running mates and her local district party committee. That’s more than all but two of the Democrats’ statewide candidates.
Sitte, I should ad, has been no slouch in fundraising herself. Her fundraising, combined with that of her running mates and the local Republican district committee, totals up to over $120,000.
Clearly, this is a race Democrats want to win and Republicans aren’t backing down from defending it.
So it was curious when the national Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee announced the races they’re targeting across the country, that Hill-Oban wasn’t one of the candidates named.
According to this report from John Celock, the Democrat legislative candidates targeted in North Dakota are Kyle Thorson, running for the House in District 43 (Grand Forks), and Perry Miller, running for the Senate in District 25 (Wahpeton).
I highlighted the District 25 race in my post earlier this week as a possible pickup for Democrats, and District 43 (which leans Democrat) is certainly another place where they could be competitive. But I’m wondering why in the world Democrats skipped over Oban’s race against a much-hated Republican incumbent where Democrats have already raised a huge amount of money but are still trailing Republicans?
Have Democrats written that race off? Did they see some polling they didn’t like?
I can’t think of another reason why national Democrats would skip over what is clearly the most hotly-contested legislative race in North Dakota right now.