Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's Democratic challenger is making his case for a change on the airwaves.
Jim Graves began running television ads on Wednesday. According to his campaign spokeswoman, Graves is running the ads on all four Twin Cities stations through the end of the month.
The campaign spent between $100,000 to $200,000 run the ads this week and next week, said Graves campaign manager Adam Graves. Now that it is up on the air, Graves said the campaign plans to continue with paid ads through Election Day.
Still, the two ads are the first in front of Twin Cities viewers over the race for the Sixth Congressional District. Although Bachmann has significant campaign coffers -- she is one of the most prodigious fundraisers in the U.S. House -- she has yet to spend money on a television campaign.
The other is harder hitting, with former workers at Sartell's Verso paper mill accusing Bachmann of failing to reach out to them after a massive fire this year that ended with the mill's closure.
"We need a representative who cares about us," one of the workers says.
While the workers in the ad say that Bachmann did not call them after the fire, she visited Sartell after company officials announced the mill would not re-open and pledged to work with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and others to help the city and the workers recover from the closure.
Late Wednesday, Bachmann's campaign called the ad a "false character smear." The campaign said that her staff was "on the scene" of the Verso mill shortly after it exploded and have kept in touch with local officials and sent letters to Verso workers.
Recently released Democratic polls show the race to be competitive but the district's history should show it to be friendly ground for Bachmann.