- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The main pro-House GOP super PAC on Wednesday unveiled its second ad in as many weeks in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District race, as Republicans work to hold the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Tom Garrett.

The 30-second spot, which will run on TV in the Roanoke market and on digital platforms throughout the 5th District, cheers Republican Denver Riggleman for supporting President Trump’s tax cuts, while saying Democrat Leslie Cockburn “would take us backward.”

Cockburn joined Pelosi to oppose the middle-class tax cut,” a narrator says, referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.

The ad from the Congressional Leadership Fund also says Ms. Cockburn supports “a $32 trillion spending plan that could double the debt” — a reference to one estimate of how much a “Medicare for all” health care system could cost the federal government over 10 years.

Cockburn. Pelosi. Bigger government. A weaker economy,” the ad concludes.

Prognosticators have pegged the race between Mr. Riggleman, a distillery owner/operator, and Ms. Cockburn, a journalist, as a toss-up or one that leans in Mr. Riggleman’s direction.

An internal Republican Party campaign poll released late last week showed Mr. Riggleman ahead by 10 percentage points.

The sprawling 5th Congressional District stretches from the North Carolina border up through the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, and near the outer suburbs of Washington, D.C.

It’s one of four GOP-held House seats in Virginia that Democrats have set their sights on as realistic pick-up opportunities.

In response to the Congressional Leadership Fund’s first ad in the district, which touched on similar themes and was released last week, the Cockburn campaign said voters in the 5th District are “hungry for change” and will reject the playbook of CLF and other like-minded groups.

“At some point, special interests like CLF — and its billionaire backers which include Sheldon and Miriam Adelson — are going to realize that you can’t buy the grass-roots movement we see sweeping across this district,” said Cockburn campaign manager Louise Bruce.

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