Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) has reserved $4 million worth of television advertising time in the Tampa/Sarasota media market, locking in rates and placement in what is expected to be a very crowded media environment.
According to a memo from Buchanan's media firm, SRCPmedia, campaign advertising will begin Aug. 1 and end on Election Day, with a "two-week hiatus in late August."
The reservation includes a whopping 12,000 gross rating points of advertising on Tampa stations, the memo said.
Buchanan, independently wealthy, is in a comfortably Republican district, but a series of dark ethics clouds have been hovering over him.
The vice chairman for finance for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Buchanan is seen as a top target by Democrats in Florida and nationally. Their belief that he is vulnerable was buoyed by a front page New York Times story that reported an apparently “widening” federal investigation into the Congressman.
Buchanan's dealings are also under continuing review by the House Ethics Committee.
The campaign of Buchanan's Democratic opponent, Keith Fitzgerald, knocked the ad reservation.
“Representative Vern Buchanan is on the ropes. Under constant investigation for ethical misconduct and financial improprieties. Abandoned by his party leadership. Laboring at home under his mind-boggling vote to turn Medicare over to the private insurance companies," said Fitzgerald campaign manager Adam Scott in a staccato statement.
"Spending money on TV is all he has left, even as the people of the Suncoast are unlikely to trust what they see when Representative Buchanan's ads go on the air," Scott added.
While Florida Democrats are bullish on Fitzgerald, the district's makeup means he'll face a real uphill climb. Roll Call rates the race as Likely Republican.
Read the full memo here:
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