Just a week before the midterm elections on Nov. 6, one of the largest Tea Party-aligned groups in the country is throwing money into Utah’s 4th District race to help incumbent GOP Rep. Mia Love.
FreedomWorks, the Washington, D.C.-based conservative group that helped fund the Tea Party wave of the early 2010s, will spend some of the $270,000 it has pledged to 21 races over the last week of the 2018 cycle on Love’s re-election effort, including a last-minute peer-to-peer texting blitz.
Not to be outdone, national Democrats are dropping an additional $250,000 for television advertisements on the race, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee confirmed to KSL.com in Utah.
The race for Utah’s 4th District is one of the closest in the country with Democratic nominee and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams leading Love in one poll and tied with her in two others this month, according to Real Clear Politics.
In 2012, FreedomWorks spent more than half a million dollars against GOP stalwart Sen. Orrin G. Hatch to force him into a primary battle with outside candidate and former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist.
But with the House majority at stake, the conservative group is happy to help Love, who has portrayed herself as a moderate Republican in the 4th District.
“She’s a strong conservative, and we’re doing everything we can in some of these close races to make sure Republicans hold on to their House majority,” FreedomWorks press secretary Peter Vicenzi told KSL.com. “We want to make sure she pulls through.”
The 4th District this cycle has been infused with more than $1.5 million in outside spending, much of it on negative advertising in a race that has turned heated.
McAdams and the Democrats have accused Love of running afoul of Federal Elections Commission rules. Love has attacked McAdams for being too liberal.
Neither candidate has rushed to embrace President Donald Trump, who carried the district in 2016, but with just 39.1 percent of the vote that year.
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