Super PAC Looks for Next Primary Targets

The Campaign for Primary Accountability has targeted Rep. Tim Murphy in his April primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Campaign for Primary Accountability aided freshman Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s victory in Tuesday’s primary, and now the group has set its sights on a few more incumbents.

The super PAC will target Pennsylvania Reps. Tim Holden (D) and Tim Murphy (R) in their April 24 primaries, according to spokesman Curtis Ellis.

The Campaign for Primary Accountability targets incumbents in primaries in safe districts, regardless of party affiliation.

The Texas-based super PAC spent $222,000 on Kinzinger’s behalf late in the race against veteran Rep. Don Manzullo (R). The super PAC spent at least $75,000 on television ads and $18,000 on radio spots knocking Manzullo and pumping up Kinzinger, according to Federal Election Commission records. Online reports show it also unloaded at least $104,700 in direct mail on the race through postcards and other pieces.

The six-figure sum is more cash than the controversial super PAC has spent in any other race this cycle. In addition to Holden and Murphy, the Campaign for Primary Accountability will also target Texas Reps. Silvestre Reyes (D) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D) in their May 29 primary.

So far, the super PAC boasts a 33 percent success rate.

The group was successful in the one Illinois race and in Ohio, where Rep. Jean Schmidt (R) lost a primary earlier this month. But it failed to oust four incumbents in primaries that it targeted: Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and Jo Bonner (R-Ala.).

Nonetheless, Ellis called the group’s efforts a success.

“For the first time in many years, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Rep. Don Manzullo had to actually campaign rather than taking another term for granted as they have in the past,” Ellis said in a statement about the Tuesday primaries.