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One week after an opponent arose to challenge him in the 2020 primary election, Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., began benefiting from $69,000 in supportive advertisements funded by a trade group.

The American Chemistry Council announced Monday that it would run pro-Rounds ads on radio and television for two weeks.

“Sen. Rounds is a leader on taxes, helping ease the burden on South Dakota middle class families and small businesses,” said ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley in a news release. “His work in Washington has helped lead to record low unemployment and has allowed businesses to innovate and expand.”

According to the independent and nonpartisan website OpenSecrets.org, which compiles and analyzes campaign finance data, the pro-Rounds ads are among $150,000 in total ad spending by the American Chemistry Council this month to support five senators who are up for re-election in 2020. The other senators are Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska; Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Bill Cassidy, R-Louisana; and Steve Daines, R-Montana.

OpenSecrets.org reported that the American Chemistry Council represents nearly 200 companies, including DuPont, Chevron Phillips and ExxonMobil. The council had revenue of $121 million in 2017, but the council is a type of nonprofit organization that is not required to disclose its donors and does not do so voluntarily, OpenSecrets.org reported.

The American Chemistry Council announced its pro-Rounds ads exactly one week after state Rep. Scyller Borglum, R-Rapid City, announced her intent to challenge Rounds in the June 2020 Republican primary election.

Rounds won election to the Senate in 2014 after previously serving two terms as governor, following a career in the insurance and real estate industries. Borglum is an engineer who entered politics last year with her election to the state House of Representatives from District 32.

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Contact Seth Tupper at seth.tupper@rapidcityjournal.com

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