(David Duprey / Associated…)
The race to fill a vacant House seat in New York’s 26th Congressional District heated up Tuesday as American Crossroads, the conservative group co-founded by Karl Rove, announced plans to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising in the final two weeks of the campaign.
The group has bought $350,000 worth of Web ads and TV spots that will run in the Buffalo and Rochester markets, said spokesman Jonathan Collegio.
And more is likely, according to Democratic media trackers who say the group has reserved an additional $300,000 in air time.
Republican Jane Corwin holds a small lead in the conservative-leaning district, but Republicans have grown nervous that third-party candidate Jack Davis may be siphoning away votes.
Davis, who ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat in the past, is running this year on a "tea party" platform.
“This race has become artificially competitive because liberal Democrat Jack Davis is now trying to pass himself off as a conservative while the other liberal Democrat, Katie Hochul, is benefiting from his trick,” Collegio said in a press release. “This ad buy seeks to expose the Democrat trick for what it is.”
The district had been represented by Republican Chris Lee until earlier this year, when he resigned after it was revealed that he had e-mailed a shirtless picture to a woman he met online.
A recent poll by the Siena Research Institute found that 36% of voters support Corwin, 31% support Democrat Kathy Hochul and 23% support Davis.
Democrats say Corwin's slim lead in such a conservative district is evidence of voter frustration with Republican policies.
“American Crossroads’ desperate ad buy for Jane Corwin shows they know that the Corwin-Boehner agenda to end Medicare and protect Big Oil is extremely unpopular among independent voters and the issues are effectively moving the needle in what should be a safe Republican seat,” said Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.