CEDAR RAPIDS – A national Republican committee has reserved $1 million worth of television time in Eastern Iowa for the party’s congressional challengers.
One of the incumbents being targeted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, 2nd District Rep. Dave Loebsack, is using the reservation to ask for an “emergency donation.”
“I wouldn’t be writing if this weren’t important,” Loebsack wrote in a campaign email Thursday afternoon after the NRCC announced it had reserved $719,130 of television time in the 2nd District. “They think they can win. We need to show them they can’t.”
Loebsack’s plea follows a comment from NRCC chairman Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, that he’s willing to invest $1 million in the 2nd District race “if you make a fight of it.”
The NRCC also announced it had reserved $356,800 to help Ben Lange of Independence, who is challenging 1st District Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley of Waterloo. Sessions campaigned for Lange in Cedar Rapids this week.
Referring to the 2nd District race, Session said polling around Labor Day would have to show “this is a fight we can win” before the NRC would buy the television time. The NRCC reserved time beginning Sept. 7.
In both districts, the reservations “signal the NRCC’s commitment to holding both Loebsack and Braley accountable for their tax increases, cuts to Medicare and spending sprees,” according to NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek.
The ad reservation was not unexpected, said Jeff Giertz, Braley’s campaign manager.
“Bruce Braley is already talking to Iowa voters about his Iowa values and how that informs his work in Congress on behalf of Iowa,” Giertz said.
“He’ll continue working for Iowa” whether the NRC runs ads or not, Giertz added.
Braley began running a television ad this week to introduce himself to voters in the new 1st District that includes Linn County.