Feb. 9, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

For Business, Bigger Primary Challenges Follow Alabama Race

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Amash, above, a tea party lawmaker, faces businessman Ellis in Michigan’s 3rd District in 2014. Will business groups influence the race?

In Idaho’s 2nd District, Smith’s campaign said that the race will be much different than the contest in Alabama. Mark Harris, a top adviser to Smith’s campaign, said that Smith has the support of groups such as the Club for Growth and Citizens United and will be able to paint a clear choice for primary voters.

“I think that when you have a guy like Bryan Smith, who is a successful and articulate supporter of conservative principles, I think that matters more than Mike Simpson’s bad voting record,” Harris said. “I think voters in Idaho are going to have a clear choice in the primary.”

Aides at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce did not return a request for comment on this story. But Main Street Advocacy, a new group, announced this week that it is trying to raise $8 million to boost moderate congressional candidates this cycle.

However, conservative groups like the club say they are not phased by business groups’ primary threats.

And back in Alabama, consultants say tea party groups’ fearlessness is warranted.

“If you get somebody who ... is as fiery as Young but can be controlled in what he does and says, he probably wins,” Alabama GOP consultant David Mowery said. “That’s the postmortem on it.”

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