New Super PAC Launches Gomez Ad Campaign in Mass.

Thursday, 13 Jun 2013 02:52 PM

By Dan Weil

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Americans for Progressive Action has unveiled a planned television ad campaign for GOP Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez it said would cost more than a half million dollars.

According the National Journal, the conservative super PAC was formed just last week, and its investment in Gomez marks the first time he has received ad help from outside group in his race against Democratic Rep. Ed Markey.

The Journal also reported that Nancy Watkins is the group's treasurer. She played the same role in Rep. Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign and other GOP campaigns, the journal noted, noting that she is well-known within Florida Republican circles as a campaign finance law expert. The Journal, said she had also been a top donor to former President George W. Bush's campaigns.

"Americans for Progressive Action is focused on having a positive impact on elections in America by supporting and promoting candidates that represent a better future for America," Sheena Tahilramani, a spokeswoman for the group, told the Journal.

"In Massachusetts, we saw a moderate, reasonable candidate with very little outside help who was being outspent by Democrats 3 to 1. Gabriel Gomez is a great American—an American hero—and we want him to have the opportunity to make his case to the people of Massachusetts," she said, referring to Gomez's former military service as a Navy SEAL.

Republican strategists both inside and outside of Gomez’ campaign are upset with the lack of support for the candidate by establishment donors and conservative activists, according to Stuart Rothenberg of Roll Call.

“Republican donors around the country have demanded for years that we find candidates who have appeal outside the normal conservative coalition, as well as those who have interesting private sector backgrounds," Brad Todd of OnMessage, a GOP consulting firm working on Gomez’ campaign, told Rothenberg. "You couldn’t find anyone who fits that description better than Gabriel Gomez.”

The Republican trails Markey in most recent polls by an average of about nine percentage points. But recent GOP-affiliated surveys show the gap closing.

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