Sink is the Democratic nominee in the competitive special election in Florida. (Tim Boyles/Getty Images File Photo)
Ad wars have escalated in a highly competitive special election in Florida, with Democrats spending more overall, but Republicans quickly catching up with their ad buys.
The already profuse ad spending demonstrates the high stakes for both parties in this March 11 special election. Although the election is one month away, elections officials started to send out mail-in ballots last week for the 13th District contest.
That means television time — especially early advertisements — come at a premium in this Tampa-area media market.
Cumulatively, the Democratic nominee, Alex Sink, and her allies have spent about $1 million more on television advertisements than Republicans.
But the GOP’s nominee, lobbyist David Jolly, and his allies have spent more than Democrats in the past two weeks. Most recently, the National Republican Congressional Committee aired a spot that links Sink to national Democrats and the president’s 2010 health care law.
Here’s a breakdown of approximately how much each party has spent on television advertisements in the general election as of Tuesday afternoon, according to multiple media-buying sources from both parties who are monitoring the race:
“My family understands the important role of public service,” Urlacher said in a statement before the event. “My brother, Casey Urlacher, was elected mayor of Lake County’s Mettawa, Ill., earlier this year. In Peoria, he was fullback-linebacker for the Peoria Pirates. So we’re both looking forward to visiting our friends in central Illinois.”
An event appearance fee was paid to B.U. Enterprises, according to the Schock Victory Committee’s year-end filing. Illinois public records show B.U. Enterprises is a company registered to Urlacher.
Schock’s campaign did not return a request for comment on the appearance fee.
Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, gave $1 million each to boost the House GOP’s efforts in 2014.
At a closed-door Tuesday morning conference meeting, Schock presented his $1.1 million check to National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon. Hensarling also gave Walden a $1 million check at the meeting, according to a Republican source who attended the Capitol Hill Club confab.
The NRCC also announced Tuesday that Schock will serve as chairman of the NRCC’s March dinner — one of the committee’s top fundraising events of the year. Schock pledged to raise an additional $1 million for the committee before the March 26 event. Full story
Updated 12:02 p.m. | The ad war in Florida’s 13th District special election has officially begun.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved about $725,000 in broadcast and cable advertising from Wednesday until Feb. 10 to support the GOP nominee, lobbyist David Jolly, according to two sources — a Democrat and a Republican — who track media buys. Full story
The National Republican Congressional Committee spent $93,500 this week against Democrat Alex Sink in Florida’s 13th District special election, according to a Federal Election Commission report filed Thursday.
According to an NRCC source, at least part of that money will go toward this Web ad:
This is the first expenditure the NRCC has placed in the race this year. The committee is backing the newly minted GOP nominee, David Jolly, in this race.
Jolly, left, and Peters, right, are Republicans. (CQ Roll Call composite)
The competitive composition of Florida’s 13th District makes this race fascinating, but it’s also the first big contest on the calendar for 2014. This special election will serve as a test balloon for the parties to check their messaging with a split electorate months ahead of Election Day.
Longtime Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s death has spurred the first competitive race for the western Florida district in a few decades. Young carried the district easily, but President Barack Obama narrowly won the seat with 50 percent in 2012.
Israel is the DCCC chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unveiled its final wave of Jumpstart candidates for the 2014 cycle on Thursday, giving the seal of approval to one final set of recruits before the election year begins.
New this cycle, the Jumpstart program provides “early financial communications, operational and strategic support” to candidates, according to the committee. It also gives members and potential donors a sense of the DCCC’s top candidates in competitive primaries.
“These four standout candidates are being added to the Jumpstart program because they’re committed to the right priorities, like working together to create good jobs, protect our seniors and give the middle class financial peace of mind,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York in a statement.
The National Republican Congressional Committee announced on Thursday 36 candidates who have achieved the committee’s “On the Radar” status.
This ranking is the first of three levels of the committee’s fundraising and infrastructure program. Earning this status means the NRCC “will help to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents,” according to an NRCC release.
The final level is “Young Gun” status.
“These 36 candidates all provide a stark contrast to their liberal opponents, whose support of ObamaCare and this Administration’s big-government, job-destroying agenda has taken a toll on the American people,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement.
Four of those rated are former members who lost re-election bids in 2012: former Reps. Robert Dold and Bobby Schilling of Illinois, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire and Nan Hayworth of New York.
Some of the other challengers are running in the same districts. Full story
Last month, GOP Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s death forced a special election in the Tampa Bay-area seat, making it one of the most competitive House contests in 2014. Operatives from both sides have characterized the March 11 special election as a bellwether contest for the 2014 cycle.
“We all knew that Bill had a special relationship with his constituents in that district, and that district had changed over the years and that when he no longer was serving, that that district would be a competitive district,” Walden, an Oregon Republican, told reporters Friday morning at a Christian Science Monitor Breakfast in Washington, D.C.
Sonju met with Walden, right, about his House race in Montana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Montana state Sen. Jon Sonju was on Capitol Hill last week meeting with GOP-aligned groups ahead of a potential House bid in 2014.
Sonju, who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor last year, spent much of Thursday at the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is preparing for a potential Senate bid by freshman GOP Rep. Steve Daines.
If Daines runs for Senate — very likely at this point — Republicans expect a crowded field of Republicans for his at-large House seat in the Big Sky State. Along with Sonju, the NRCC has also been in contact with former state Sen. Corey Stapleton, state Sen. Matt Rosendale and former state Sen. Ryan Zinke. Full story