The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $265,000 worth of television advertising in New York’s 26th district, a move that follows a rash of outside spending in the special election that Republicans were expected to dominate just weeks ago.
The NRCC buys include broadcast television in both the Buffalo and Rochester media markets. The ads, which are expected to attack third-party candidate Jack Davis, are set to begin running Monday, according to a Democratic operative who tracks media buys.
“They’re now spending money defending a safe Republican seat with a self-funder running,” the operative said. “Win or lose, it’s already a loss for them.”
Indeed, few believed that the cash-strapped NRCC would be forced to devote significant resources to the western New York special election, especially given that the Republican nominee, state lawmaker Jane Corwin, is a multimillionaire. She was nominated by the local Republican county chairmen earlier in the spring in part because of her ability to self-fund.
Further, Republicans have a major registration advantage in the district, which was previously held by Rep. Chris Lee (R).
The NRCC decision follows investments by conservative outside powerhouse American Crossroads, which is dumping $650,000 into the race, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is devoting $250,000.
Recent polling suggests that Corwin is knotted in a tight contest with Democratic nominee Kathy Hochul, with wealthy third-party candidate Jack Davis drawing roughly 25 percent of the vote. That’s likely why the outside groups have gone hard after Davis, who will appear on the tea party ballot line on May 24.