GOP, Dems promise more ad buys in Rahall-Jenkins race

June 17, 2014

Compiled by Whitney Burdette

National Republican and Democratic organizations plan to spend millions more on new television advertisements in the campaign between Rep. Nick Rahall and state Sen. Evan Jenkins to represent southern West Virginia in Congress.

The National Republican Campaign Committee, the official GOP organization devoted to congressional races, announced Tuesday it’s allocated $1.6 million toward television advertisements to go “on offense” against Rahall.

The House Majority Political Action Committee, a fundraising organization created to help Democrats regain a majority in the U.S. House, also announced Tuesday it planned to spend about $900,000 on television ads.

Rahall, a longtime congressman, recently won the Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District. He’ll face Jenkins, a Cabell County senator who left the Democratic party in 2013 in order to challenge Rahall for the seat.

Both the National Republican Campaign Committee and the House Majority PAC will spend the money on advertisements in the Charleston and Beckley television markets. The PAC reserved $632,621 worth of ad time in the Charleston market — which includes Huntington — and $288,905 worth of ad time in the Beckley market — which includes Bluefield.

The National Republican Campaign Committee didn’t provide a geographic breakdown for its spending.

The House Majority PAC has already spent more than $1 million on television ads, most of which accuse Jenkins of catering to outside conservative influences and not West Virginia. National Republicans have also aired ads, attacking Rahall as a supporter of President Barack Obama and his energy platform, both very unpopular in the state.

National Republicans believe Rahall is one of the most vulnerable incumbent Democrats in the nation, citing large support in the district for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. Democrats say Jenkins is opportunistic and Rahall is still the best representative for the area.

The general election is Nov. 4.