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Burgum rolls out TV ad in his run for ND governor

FARGO--Doug Burgum's campaign for governor is rolling out television ads portraying him as a business leader with the ability and experience to lead the state as it faces a $1 billion budget shortfall.

2384792+0312 Burgum ad.jpg
Doug Burgum, entrepreneur and candidate for North Dakota governor, is seen in this still frame from his new TV ad. The 30-second ad is the first of Burgum's campaign and started airing Friday.

FARGO--Doug Burgum's campaign for governor is rolling out television ads portraying him as a business leader with the ability and experience to lead the state as it faces a $1 billion budget shortfall.

"Career politicians don't have the answers," the narrator in the commercial says. "We need a business leader, we need Doug Burgum."

Burgum is an entrepreneur who led Great Plains Software and shepherded its acquisition for $1.1 billion by Microsoft. He is active as a developer in downtown Fargo through his firm, Kilbourne Group, and also is involved in a venture capital fund and technology startups.

The 30-second ad, the first in Burgum's campaign, started airing Friday. The ad's swipe at "career politicians" appears directed at Wayne Stenehjem, the state attorney general, who is widely seen as the leading Republican contender to replace Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

Burgum is seeking the Republican nomination, saying he will seek but does not expect to get the party's endorsement. He has said he will run in the June primary.

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In a recent poll by North Dakota United, a union for teachers and public employees, 59 percent of respondents said they favored Stenehjem, compared to 10 percent for Burgum and 31 percent who said they were unsure.

One of Burgum's big challenges is to become better known around the state. Burgum is well-known in Fargo, but his name is unfamiliar throughout much of the state. The North Dakota United poll found that 38 percent of respondents hadn't heard of Burgum, compared to 9 percent who hadn't heard of Stenehjem.

Stenehjem, who was elected in 2000 after serving many years in the North Dakota Legislature representing a district in Grand Forks, is viewed favorably by 64 percent in the poll, compared to 21 percent for Burgum.

In the campaign ad, Burgum said he would bring a CEO role to the governor's office, bringing his private sector experience to instill a culture of continuous improvement in state government.

"Doug Burgum--a new leader for a changing economy," the ad's narrator says.

The amount of the ad buy was not immediately available from the Burgum campaign. Rob Port in his political blog, SayAnything, reported the buy was about $150,000, citing an unnamed source.

Related Topics: DOUG BURGUMELECTION 2016
Patrick Springer first joined The Forum in 1985. He covers a wide range of subjects including health care, energy and population trends. Email address: pspringer@forumcomm.com
Phone: 701-367-5294
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