Baldwin touts buy-American legislation in first Senate re-election campaign TV ad

By TODD RICHMOND Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin launched her first television campaign ad Thursday, releasing a 30-second spot touting buy-American legislation she sponsored.

The ad features workers at Scot Forge in Clinton praising the bills. One was signed by President Donald Trump in 2018 that created a five-year requirement that federally funded water infrastructure projects use American iron and steel. Another was signed by President Joe Biden in 2021 that made the requirement permanent.

The ad will run statewide and on digital platforms. Baldwin campaign spokesperson Andrew Mamo declined to say how much the ad cost but said the campaign plans to spend seven figures over the next few weeks on ads.

Republican Eric Hovde, a multimillionaire businessman, is seeking to unseat Baldwin in November. He released his first television spot 10 days ago. He cites the economy, crime, health care and “open borders” as problems facing the country in the ad. He does not mention Baldwin or Wisconsin in the spot.

Baldwin’s ad doesn’t mention Hovde. State GOP spokesperson Matt Fisher responded by saying Baldwin is trying to “rebrand” herself after helping helping Biden advance an agenda of high inflation and open borders.

Two lesser-known Republicans also are running: Trempealeau County Board Supervisor Stacey Klein and Rejani Raveendran, a 40-year-old college student and chair of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College Republicans.

Baldwin won reelection in 2018 by 11 percentage points and her winning this year is critical for Democratic hopes to maintain majority control of the Senate. Democrats are defending 23 seats in the Senate in November, including two held by independents who caucus with Democrats. That’s compared with just 11 seats that Republicans hope to keep in their column.