By Josh Lederman
Heidi Heitkamp, the Democratic recruit to replace retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D) in North Dakota, released a new television ad highlighting her support for the state's energy industry.
"If anyone thinks North Dakota is not an energy leader, they need to come here," Heitkamp says in the ad. "We need more innovation like this, but because of Washington gridlock, it's not happening."
Heitkamp doesn't mention her affiliation as a Democrat, nor does she refer to her Republican opponent, Rep. Rick Berg (N.D.), in the 30-second ad that her campaign said would air statewide starting Monday.
"We need a senator who will put partisan politics aside and do what's right for our country," says Heitkamp.
The former state attorney general, Heitkamp has repeatedly sought to distance herself from President Obama on energy issues, arguing that the nation's energy policy must include clean coal and lashing out at Obama for obstructing the development of the Keystone XL pipeline.