Club for Growth Wades Into Competitive House Seats

Posted August 19, 2010 at 9:38am

Powerful anti-tax group the Club for Growth announced its first round of competitive House race endorsements Thursday, throwing its support behind the GOP candidates in two battleground open-seat races and two districts where Republicans hope to topple veteran Democratic incumbents.

The club is backing farmer Stephen Fincher in Tennessee’s open 8th district and attorney Tim Griffin in Arkansas’ open 2nd district. It also endorsed state Sen. Mick Mulvaney in his fight against Budget Chairman John Spratt in South Carolina’s 5th district and attorney Todd Young against Rep. Baron Hill in Indiana’s 9th district.

The club has endorsed 21 candidates so far this cycle, but until now its House endorsements have been in safely Republican districts where the only competition was in GOP primaries. Club spokesman Mike Connolly acknowledged Thursday that the latest endorsements are the result of the group turning its attention to the general election.

“This is the first of what we expect to be many more general election House endorsements,” Connolly said. He didn’t say how many competitive House races the club plans to get involved in this year but said, “It’s going to be a bigger number than we normally get involved with just because the environment is so good and there’s so many good candidates around the country.”

Last cycle, the club dropped about $24 million supporting candidates it had endorsed. Club officials have said they expect to exceed that spending total this cycle.