- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 9, 2020

House Republicans may be losing the fight to retake the majority but they are still taking the fight to Democrats in toss-up races.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the top super PAC backing House Republican candidates, launched an ad spree Wednesday that zeroed in on tight races in California, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma and New York.

“Voters are starting to learn the truth behind Democrats’ records in Washington, and the results are not pretty,” CLF Press Secretary Will Reinert told The Washington Times. “Stand out Republican candidates like Burgess Owens continue to impress, while freshman Democrats’ phony ‘moderate’ veneer is being stripped away to lay bare their record of rubber-stamping [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s left-wing agenda.”

The ads hit vulnerable Democratic incumbents Reps. Harley Rouda of California, Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico and Kendra Horn of Oklahoma with accusations ranging from using cold-hearted business practices to bowing to liberal gun-grabbers.

A TV spot accused Mr. Rouda of discriminating against sick employees at his former business while trying to link him to the more liberal wing’s push for Medicare for All.

Ms. Torres Small was hammered on her record for supporting the Democrats’ gun control bill last year. Ms. Horn was framed as a lackey of the party leadership, particularly when it came to energy issues.

Democrats brushed off the fresh wave of attacks.Robyn Patterson, press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Democrats’ official campaign arm, said the voters know who is on their side on health care issues.

“No matter what lies Washington Republicans put on TV, they can’t make voters forget about their endless war on the health coverage of Americans with preexisting conditions,” she said. “Voters know that protecting and expanding this Democratic majority is the only way to stop Republicans from ripping away their health care during a deadly pandemic.”

The DCCC ran a string of TV ads in recent weeks that, like most of their messaging this cycle, emphasized health care.

Overall, the Republicans’ new ad campaigns target Democratic freshmen who were key in helping Democrats win the majority by flipping red seats blue in 2018.

Two exceptions were California’s 25th District, currently represented by Rep. Mike Garcia, and New York’s 2nd District, held by the retiring Rep. Peter King.

CLF also tried to bolster the GOP’s chances in those two vulnerable districts by going after the Democratic hopefuls.

Christy Smith, a California State assemblywoman facing off for a second time against Mr. Garcia in the swing district Democrat Katie Hill won in 2018, was criticized for her record in local leadership and accused of cutting funding for teachers.

Army veteran Jackie Gordon is up against New York assemblyman Andrew Garbarino in a fight to secure the open seat left by Mr. King’s impending retirement this year. The CLF ad tries to tie her to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his record of raising taxes and cutting funding for the police.

While the majority of the campaign is negative ads, CLF also propped up Republican candidate Burgess Owens, a former NFL player who is taking on Democratic incumbent Rep. Ben McAdams in Utah.”Burgess Owens is the leader we need to heal our nation, tackle the virus and protect the vulnerable,” the narrator says.

Democrats have a clear edge this year when it comes to keeping their control on the House.In July, the Cook Political Report shifted 20 House races in 13 states across the country in the Democrats’ favor.

But 28 races — including five of the six targeted in the ad blitz — remain toss-ups. The one exception is Mr. Rouda’s district, which is leaning in the Democrats’ favor.

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