GOP Spends $75K on TV for Ragan; Voucher-backing PAC Helps, Too

The House Republican Caucus has reported spending more than $75,000 on a television ad that supports Rep. John Ragan while criticizing his Democratic opponent — apparently the largest TV buy of the campaign season in a Tennessee state House race.
Financial reports for the period Oct. 1-27 indicate Ragan benefited from about $150,000 in Republican PAC spending, including the TV buy, while former Rep. Jim Hackworth, got about half that amount from the state Democratic Party.
“We spent it where we need it,” said House Republican Leader Gerald McCormick.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner said polling earlier in the campaign indicated Hackworth held a lead, but acknowledged the heavy Republican spending may have made a difference. He contended Republicans had reached a “saturation point” so that continued spending did them little good.
The candidates themselves in House District 33 have been spending less than their partisan allies, disclosures indicate. Ragan reported $66,989 in expenditures during the Oct. 1-27 period, including $20,000 in reimbursements to the House Republican Caucus for mailers, while Hackworth reported $56,331 in spending, including about $30,000 in reimbursements to the Democratic Party.
Ragan also benefited from $25,000 in spending on his behalf for advertising by the American Federation for Children’s Tennessee PAC. That’s more than spent on any other legislator’s campaign by the group, which advocates school vouchers — a topic that will be considered in the 2013 legislative session.
The PAC spent $145,300 between Oct. 1-27 supporting 18 candidates and the leadership PACs set up by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell. All those getting the PAC’s aid are Republicans.

Leave a Reply