Super PAC Announces $10 Million to Support House GOP Candidates

Congressional Leadership Fund allocating money for TV and digital ad buys

The Congressional Leadership Fund's biggest expenditure — $1.7 million — will be to help support Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., hold on to his seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC supporting House Republican candidates announced Monday that it would allocate a total of $10 million to 12 races in its first wave of spending for the general election.

The Congressional Leadership Fund plans to spend nearly $7.4 million in broadcast and cable television ad buys, $1.5 million to build ground-game operations in New York and California, and $1.1 million on digital advertising and other political spending.

“This is the first wave of efficient, strategic ad reservations,” Mike Shields, the fund’s president, said in a statement. “We will continue to add to these buys in the coming weeks, including more television advertising, digital advertising, and further ground troop investments. Our historically strong fundraising has put us in a position to not only protect Republicans in tough races, but also to take the fight to Democrats on their turf.”

Much of the spending announced Monday isn’t scheduled to launch until October, with most ads scheduled to air in the final weeks of the campaign.

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The largest investment, $1.7 million, will be spent on TV and online ads, launching October 23, to support GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida’s 26th District. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race a Tossup.

Other Tossup races where the Congressional Leadership Fund is spending money are Florida’s 18th District ($1.32 million), New York’s 24th District ($800,000), Texas’s 23rd District ($800,000), Wisconsin’s 8th District ($600,000) and Iowa’s 3rd District ($500,000).

The second largest allocation, $1.38 million will go toward Republican Scott Jones, who is running against Democratic Rep. Ami Bera in California’s 7th District. That spending will include TV ads launching Oct. 11 and ground-level, get-out-the-vote activities. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race Leans Democratic.

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Another seat seen as a GOP pickup opportunity is Nebraska’s 2nd District, won by Mitt Romney by 7 points in 2012, where Republican Don Bacon is running against Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford. The super PAC is spending $720,000 on that race, which The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates Tilts Democrat.

In Pennsylvania’s 8th District, where Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent, is seeking to replace his brother, GOP Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, the group plans to spend $1.18 million. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race Tilts Republican.

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Another Tilts Republican race is New York’s 1st District, where GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin is expected to get help from the fund in the amount of $300,000 to retain his seat. 

The super PAC is also spending $300,000 each on GOP Rep. Steve Knight in California’s 25th District and Republican John Faso, running for New York's open 19th District seat. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the former race as Republican Favored and the latter as Leans Republican.

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