The fifth ad of Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack’s re-election campaign is the first to focus solely on his opponent, DFLer Rick Nolan, slamming the former congressman for voting to raise congressional pay and for his time at the Minnesota World Trade Center.
The ad, which went on the air in Minneapolis and Duluth on Tuesday, keys in on one of the biggest Republican talking points against Nolan, that he voted for four pay raises during his time in Congress in the 1970s and 80s. National groups like the National Republican Congressional Committee and the American Action Network, have gone after Nolan on the pay raise issue in the past, and it’s come up in the series of debates between the candidates, but this is the first time Cravaack has used it against Nolan in advertising.
The second half of the ad hits Nolan for a pay increase he took while head of the Minnesota World Trade Center 20 years ago. Cravaack has brought up the World Trade Center before, during a debate earlier this month. During the DFL primary, former candidate Tarryl Clark’s final ad of the campaign was about Nolan’s time at the WTC.
The ad is the Cravaack’s first strictly negative spot of the cycle, and it comes during a particularly controversial time for the 8th District airwaves — a DFL Party ad was pulled off the air in Duluth this week for incorrectly contending Cravaack no longer lives in the district, a charge Nolan made in a separate ad.
Democrats have stood by the ad’s underlying message, that Cravaack is not a native of the district, and because Nolan is, he’s better suited to represent its residents.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @dhenry