Roers Jones starts airing local TV ads, but other Fargo mayoral candidates aren’t expecting to join – InForum

FARGO – In what is definitely rare in Fargo mayoral races, candidate Shannon Roers Jones has started running local TV broadcast ads “to reach as many of Fargo voters as possible,” she said.

Mayor Tim Mahoney and the other five candidates said they won’t or aren’t planning to match her campaign move at this time.

The mayor, who is facing the six challengers in this year’s June 14th election, said he could only recall Brad Wimmer running a few late-campaign broadcast TV ads in one of his runs for mayor, but couldn’t recall any others in recent times .

Mahoney had the most sharp criticism for Roers Jones, saying the mayoral election shouldn’t be about “which candidate has the most money,” comparing it to buying an election.

He would like to see the field remain open to “anybody who would like to run.”

He said he’s planning to spend about $ 15,000 to $ 20,000 on the race and called it a “reasonable amount of money.”

Roers Jones did not respond to a request to how much she plans to spend, although Mahoney expects the candidates will be asked the question at a future debate.

Roers Jones, a state legislator who is active in her family construction and development business, said in an email, “We know it’s tough for folks to come out to our events and tune into every forum, so we feel it’s important to reach voters where they are. “

“We’re running a campaign that means business,” she wrote.

Her ad emphasizes her main campaign points of fighting to lower property taxes, supporting police and cutting through red tape.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College political science faculty member Mark Johnson, who lives in Fargo, said he “isn’t shocked or surprised” to see local TV ads as he said Fargo was becoming one of the nation’s mid-sized cities with 125,000 people .

“It’s also an active race with multiple, viable candidates,” said Johnson, who could only recall a few instances of any TV ads in past mayoral races.

Most of the other candidates aren’t buying the need for local TV ads, though, and have other strategies.

Candidate Hukun Dabar, who runs a nonprofit helping residents find jobs, is the only candidate who is doing anything close so far to a TV presentation. He said his team is producing digital or “connected TV ads” but they won’t run on local stations, but rather on YouTube, Sling TV and other digital online outlets.

He also said he has started running radio ads as part of his campaign. Dabar didn’t say how much he planned to spend, but said he was relying on friends, family and business associates for contributions so far.

Candidates Sheri Fercho and Arlette Preston said they may still consider running local TV broadcast ads later on.

Fercho called the TV ads “an overreach for a local election.”

She has been self-funding her campaign and said for a “fair, clean election each candidate should have the same amount of contributions.”

If she needs to, though, she said she may buy some ads and seek contributions.

Preston, a current city commissioner, said her campaign spending amount is “an open question” and will wait to see if she decides to run any local TV ads. In the meantime, she said her strategy is on “working hard on the ground” level.

“I haven’t ruled it out,” she said of possible local TV ads.

Michael Borgie, who has had a long career in the hospitality business as mostly a chef, said Roers Jones’ ads must be “pretty expensive” as he said he saw them run several times last weekend.

He said one reason he ran is because he thinks more people need to get involved in local politics and wonders if a big money campaign could affect that effort.

“Local politics will affect your life, home and community more than what’s happening in Washington,” he said.

Candidate Dustin Elliot didn’t return phone messages about the issue.

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