MARSHALL - Marty Seifert isn't a TV star and has no intentions of ever being one, but he will introduce himself in a TV spot in the state of hockey tonight as one of the six gubernatorial candidates vying to challenge Gov. Mark Dayton in November.
In his first television ad of the election season, Seifert says Dayton has lost touch with Minnesota families and said he's the Republican candidate who can bring "common sense back to government." The ad has a definite rural flavor, complete with farm settings, tractors and one of Seifert's passions: antique cars.
Seifert's ad will air during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals between Minnesota and Chicago tonight. He says his will be the first campaign ad to air on TV this year.
"We're beating everybody to the punch," he said. "We wanted to find a market where we were going to find most the Minnesotans watching TV, and that's during the hockey game."
Seifert said his ad was filmed all over the state, including in and around Marshall. It starts and ends at his wife's family's farm near Ghent and also includes footage filmed in his garage at his home in Marshall and at the IDS Tower in Minneapolis.
The ad, Seifert said, will be shown on Comcast. He isn't sure if it will find its way into southwest Minnesota homes but said people from this area already know who he is and that he doesn't need an introduction here.
"It should reach 1.3 million households, mainly in the metro area, down to Rochester and the suburbs," he said. "I don't know if people in southwest Minnesota really need to be introduced to me, and we have to be somewhat strategic in how we spend our money."
Seifert said his campaign has about $140,000 cash-on-hand and is raising money every day so he can continue advertising. Fundraising, he said, is more difficult given the fact that he will continue to not accept money from lobbyists.
"It makes the climb a little bit more difficult," he said, "but I knew that going into the election. I've always refused money from lobbyists, and I'm sticking to that plan."
Seifert said reaching all the people he wants to reach a "work in progress" and that his main focus now is winning at the Republican State Convention on May 31.
"We know from four years ago where we need to concentrate our efforts," he said.