Stenehjem, Burgum Have Combined To Spend Nearly $1 Million On Broadcast Advertising To Date

stenehjem burgum

Back in March I wrote in a newspaper column that the big winner in North Dakota’s Republican primary race would be the state’s advertising industry.

The latest political advertising disclosures from the FCC prove that I wasn’t wrong.

So far Fargo businessman Doug Burgum, who has been running broadcast advertising since early March, has spent spent over $820,000.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who made his first buys just this week, has spent over $136,000.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Give how often we hear complaints about money in politics, this primary race may serve as an object lesson in just how much influence over the electorate a personal fortune can buy. Can a relatively unknown businessman defeat an established, well-known, and very popular politician by throwing a mountain of money at the problem?[/mks_pullquote]

Combined the candidates have spent over $958,000, with nearly 86 percent coming from Burgum.

There have been no advertising buys reported for Democratic candidate Marvin Nelson or Libertarian candidate Marty Riske.

North Dakota, regrettably, does not require spending disclosures from state candidates. And even if they did, the first reporting deadline (which will include contributions) isn’t until May.

But the FCC does require licensed broadcast outlets to disclose political advertising buys in their public files, which is where this spending data comes from.

Back to the Republican gubernatorial race, this is a truly enormous amount of money for a primary race, and keep in mind that we’re only talking about broadcast advertising. Not included is spending on campaign staff, travel, non-broadcast advertising, etc.

I expect that Burgum, who is a multi-millionaire and drawing from his personal fortune to fund his campaign, will continue to outspend Stenehjem even now that the latter candidate has gotten in the game.

Give how often we hear complaints about money in politics, this primary race may serve as an object lesson in just how much influence over the electorate a personal fortune can buy. Can a relatively unknown businessman defeat an established, well-known, and very popular politician by throwing a mountain of money at the problem?

We’ll know in June.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

Related posts

Top