Winning for Women, an outside group that helps elect female Republicans, is launching its second ad in North Carolina’s 3rd District special election, accusing the male candidate backed by the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus of being an unreliable supporter of President Donald Trump.
Winning for Women supports pediatrician Joan Perry in the GOP primary runoff that takes place July 9. Perry represents the party’s best chance of adding another woman to its conference in the House, which is down to just 13 this year. All the Republican women in the chamber, as well as a growing list of men, are backing Perry.
The TV spot, which is running on cable and broadcast and is backed by a six-figure buy, goes after Perry’s opponent, urologic surgeon Greg Murphy.
The ad accuses the state representative of praising “Obamacare,” and says, “We can’t trust him to support Trump.” The ad cites a 2017 interview with WNCT-TV 9 that reported that Murphy didn’t necessarily believe in a full repeal of the 2010 health care law.
“A lot of the programs that the ACA put forth were good,” Murphy says in the interview. “However, I think the policy that it determined and — the devil’s in the details — a lot of the details were bad,” he added. The Winning for Women ad omits the second part of Murphy’s quote.
“Say no to liberal Greg Murphy,” the narrator concludes.
Winning for Women has spent about $700,000 in support of Perry, who finished second among 17 candidates in the April 30 primary. Murphy finished first but failed to surpass 30 percent of the vote, allowing Perry to request a runoff. The winner is likely to become the next member of Congress from this safe GOP district, which has been vacant since longtime Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones died in February.
Calling your opponent a“liberal” is the same tactic that Murphy’s supporters are using against Perry.
Murphy is running with the support of North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, who chairs the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus, as well as the political arm of the caucus. A TV spot from House Freedom Action calls Perry “liberal,” and a mailer from a super PAC called Awake Carolina attacks her as a “Democrat in disguise.” Meadows and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the former chairman of the caucus, were in the district campaigning for Murphy last month.
Through June 19, Murphy had raised $544,000 and had $95,000 in his campaign fund, compared to Perry’s $374,000 raised and $55,000 on hand, reports filed last week with the Federal Election Commission show.
Overall, independent groups have spent nearly $1.2 million supporting or opposing Murphy and Perry through phone calls, ads and mailings, according to FEC filings. Disclosures through Friday show $863,000 spent to aid Perry and $310,000 to help Murphy.