Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Paulette Jordan’s first television ad of the election will be on the air soon.
The 30-second ad, titled “Good Shot,” will start airing in early October, on TV networks in the Boise area at first and then, as the campaign raises more money, in other parts of the state. It will also be shown online.
“The ad focuses on Paulette’s background (and) her rural upbringing, hunting, farming, raising horses,” John Wyble, who produced the ad, said.
Jordan, a former state legislator who ran for governor in 2018, this year is challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Risch. Risch, who was in the state Senate and then lieutenant governor and briefly governor before he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008, is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The ad starts with some shots of Jordan in front of the hills and fields of her home town De Smet, a small community on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in Benewah County.
“It’s like a lot of Idaho towns, where good people have been left behind by the elites who control politics,” Jordan says.
The ad then shows an unflattering, black-and-white photograph of Risch and newspaper clippings about his net worth, as Jordan say he has “somehow made himself a multimillionaire and become one of the richest members of the Senate.”
“I’m going to fight to give every Idaho family a fair shot, and I’m a pretty good shot,” Jordan then says, as she fires a handgun at a target propped up by hay bales.
Risch’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.
Jordan said she hopes the ad shows people, particularly in southern Idaho where voters might not be familiar with her, that she is “a regular Idahoan like everyone else” who grew up in rural Idaho and is prepared to represent their interests.
“I understand the concerns,” she said. “I wouldn’t be starting over. I wouldn’t be starting from square one. I’m already caught up on all the issues and concerns.”
Idaho hasn’t elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1974, and most election forecasts predict Risch will easily win re-election. So far the only publicly released poll of the race, which was done by the right-leaning firm SPRY Strategies, showed Risch with 53% of the vote and Jordan with 28%, with 8% saying they would vote third-party and 11% undecided.
Jordan accused Risch of being out of touch with voters, pointing to polls (such as the SPRY poll from a month ago) showing him running behind President Donald Trump in the state. Among other examples, she mentioned his support for filling the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death a-week-and-a-half ago. Democrats have criticized Trump and Republican senators for moving to fill the seat now, since Senate Republicans refused to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016, arguing the winner of the upcoming election should fill the spot. Republicans have countered that this is different since, unlike in 2016, both the president and Senate majority are of the same party.
“My vote is going to depend on not the calendar, not on the election, not on anything,” Risch told the Boise TV station KTVB. “It’s going to depend on the person who is nominated to fill the place.”
On Saturday, Trump announced his nomination of Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the seat.
“Judge Barrett has a reputation as an exemplary jurist and constitutionalist, and I look forward to meeting with her to learn more about her judicial philosophy,” Risch said Saturday.
Jordan pointed to fears that Barrett could vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act, noting that 61% of Idaho voters voted for Medicaid expansion in 2018.
“Many don’t want to see coverage for pre-existing conditions struck down by the Supreme Court,” she said.