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GOP won't buy TV ads for Ohio's Senate race

October 27, 2006|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee said Thursday it would not run any TV ads in Ohio on behalf of Sen. Mike DeWine during the final week of his reelection campaign.

RNC spokesman Aaron McLear said the national party organization had reserved time to run statewide TV ads next week, but in the end decided not to make the purchase. DeWine's challenger, Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown, leads in recent polls.

National Democrats said it showed the Republicans were giving up on the two-term senator. "Even the RNC is basically saying now that Mike DeWine has a slim chance of winning this campaign," said Phil Singer, spokesman for the Democrats' national Senate campaign organization.

The Democrats need a net gain of six Republican seats to take control of the Senate.

McLear said the RNC remained active in helping DeWine knock on doors and make telephone calls but would let the senator's campaign use its cash advantage to stay competitive on television.

According to reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, DeWine's campaign had $2.8 million on hand as of Oct. 18 and Brown's had about $837,526.

The Brown campaign already bought more than $2.5 million in TV time through the election, spokeswoman Joanna Kuebler said.

DeWine campaign spokesman Brian Seitchik said the national party's decision was not a sign of abandonment.

The Republican National Committee began spending in the Ohio contest before any other Senate race, McLear said. It had spent $3.1 million on the race when it purchased its last ad against Brown on Tuesday, FEC reports show.

The organization had $21.8 million on hand Oct. 18 and has been spending heavily on ads in Senate races in Tennessee and Missouri in the last week.

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