An underdog Republican vying for her party’s nomination for Delaware’s open Senate seat has received a big boost from the same group that helped bankroll another surprise candidate last week in Alaska.
Tea Party Express, a California-based political action committee, says it expects to spend about $250,000 on TV ads to support conservative Christine O’Donnell in her bid to defeat Rep. Mike Castle in the Sept. 14 GOP Senate primary.
The ads should begin airing early next week, said Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell.
“We’ve had our eye on Mike Castle for some time,” Russell said. “He is an extremely liberal Republican and somebody we felt completely betrayed and worked contrary to the will of the America people.”
Castle, a nine-term House member who was re-elected two years ago with 61 percent of the vote, is considered a heavy favorite to win the GOP primary for the seat formerly held by Vice President Joseph Biden. Democratic Sen. Ted Kaufman, who was appointed to fill the remaining two years of Biden’s term when he left for the White House last year, is retiring.
Tea Party Express spent about $600,000 on political newcomer Joe Miller’s campaign against incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski for Alaska’s Aug. 24 Republican primary, a race that is still too close to call. Miller leads Murkowski by less than 1,700 votes, with about 14,000 absentee and early votes still to be counted this week.
The group also has contributed about $550,000 to the campaign of conservative GOP candidate Sharon Angle in her battle to defeat Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada.