Updated 3:46 p.m. | Virginia Senate candidate Jamie Radtke will be on statewide TV in the days leading up to Tuesday’s Republican primary, the tea party leader said today.
“We’re shocking everybody, including the media,” Radtke told Roll Call.
Radtke is a heavy underdog against George Allen, a former governor and Senator who is expected to advance and take on former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) in the general. But she says her support has surged since last month's second of three GOP debates.
By Tuesday, Radtke will have been on the radio — with relatively small buys — for three weeks. She’s also doing a second week of robocalls, with the latest one featuring two former chairmen of the state Republican Party criticizing Allen.
“We’re basically right around where Deb Fischer was a week out from the race when she won in Nebraska,” Radtke said of the surprise Senate primary winner in the Cornhusker State. “So we’re really excited, which is why we’re doing another round of radio, TV, robocalls. Plus we’ve got almost 1,000 people on the ground knocking on doors, making phone calls.”
But unlike Nebraska, outside groups have not spent millions on the race, as the assumption is that Allen will win.
In the robocall, Patrick Sweeney identifies himself as the state party chairman when Allen was governor. Jeff Frederick, a former state Delegate and failed state Senate candidate last year, says he was chairman when Allen lost his Senate seat in 2006.
Frederick says Allen “is the epitome of what is wrong with Washington” and that Virginians need “conservatives like Jim DeMint, Rand Paul and like Jamie Radtke to roll back the spending and debt that George Allen helped create.”
Radtke had just $49,000 in cash on hand remaining as of May 23 after bringing in a total of $672,000 over the course of the campaign. Allen, who spent nearly that much in the pre-primary fundraising period, had more than $2.7 million in the bank.
The two other candidates, state Delegate Bob Marshall and minister E.W. Jackson, had less in cash on hand than Radtke.