A super PAC funded almost entirely by billionaire and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has opened up its coffers to seven women running to unseat veteran Republican incumbents in the House of Representatives.
The super PAC, called Independence USA, has spent just more than $2 million this month in backing the Democratic challengers, according to a new Federal Election Commission filing submitted late Friday. Election Day is Nov. 6.
The candidates include:
- Jennifer Wexton, a Virginia State Senator running to unseat Rep. Barbara Comstock in the state’s 10th District. The PAC spent slightly more than $343,000 to back Wexton.
- Kim Schrier, a pediatrician looking to flip a seat that’s been held by seven-term Republican Rep. Dave Reichert in Washington’s 8th District. The PAC spent more than $600,000 on internet ads to back Schrier and oppose her GOP rival, Dino Rossi.
- Former Obama administration official Haley Stevens, who is looking to replace outgoing Rep. Dave Trott in Michigan’s 11th District. The group spent $593,000 on an internet ad buy.
Most of the seven candidates are in districts favorable to Democrats, who are trying to flip the House out of GOP control. Nonpartisan political analysis site Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball marks only one of them as a toss-up: Michigan’s 8th District, where former Obama official Elissa Slotkin is running against GOP Rep. Mike Bishop. The others are in areas considered “lean” or “safe” Democratic.
Before the PAC’s most recent investment, it had spent $568,982 for Democrats and $1.4 million against Republicans, according the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Aaron Fritschner, a spokesman for the Wexton campaign said gaining support from independent groups such as Bloomberg’s is the latest sign their message is resonating with those from within and outside their district.
“The Wexton campaign is focused on fighting for every vote until polls close on November 6th,” Fritschner said. “While we cannot coordinate these decisions with outside organizations which take an interest in the race, the desire to change representation in Virginia’s 10th District for the better is undoubtedly resonating,” he added.
A spokesman for the PAC did not return requests for comment. Representatives for the the other Democratic campaigns also did not return requests for comment.
The efforts by the Bloomberg-affiliated PAC come as record numbers of women run for office in this year’s midterm elections. Overall, 256 women have qualified for the November elections who are running for House or U.S. Senate seats. The vast majority of the women who made it through the primaries are running on the Democratic ticket.
Republicans hold majorities in both the House and the Senate. Experts peg Democrats as tentative favorites to win back the House. The GOP, meanwhile, is expected to hold on to or expand its slim margin in the Senate as most of the seats up for grabs are held by Democrats. Ten of them are in states President Donald Trump won in 2016.
Source : CNBC