Tina Smith campaign releases first TV ad

Get ready, Minnesota: The political ads are starting.

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith released her campaign’s first TV ad Friday which will start airing on cable and broadcast television and online.  The ad features Smith, a Democrat, literally introducing herself as she is seen knocking on doors, holding meetings in Minnesotans’ homes, coffee shops and other locations across the state.

“I’ve found that when I listen to people I can better understand what they are going through day to day, and see how I can make a difference. I’m here to solve problems,” Smith says in the ad. “And I’ll work with anyone – even if we disagree – to help all Minnesotans have the freedom to live the kind of lives they want to live.”

It’s not a surprising theme for her first ad. Smith, the former lieutenant governor, has been U.S. Senator only since January, when Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her to the office after Al Franken’s resignation. Smith is the endorsed Democrat in the election to fill out the remainder of Franken’s term this fall against Republican challenger and state Sen. Karin Housley. Even though she had been lieutenant governor since 2015, many Minnesotans are still unfamiliar with Smith.

“I started visiting people all over Minnesota when I was lieutenant governor. Having that job was like being invited into people’s living rooms,” she says in the ad. “You meet a lot of people. You meet a lot of dogs. You eat a lot of donuts.”

The race, which puts both of Minnesota’s U.S. Senate seats on the ballot this fall, is expected to draw national attention and resources in the battle for control of the chamber.

You can watch the full ad below: