It was only a matter of time before Super PACs jumped into the closely watched special election race for South Carolina’s first district. House Majority PAC, which supports Democrats, launched this attack ad citing Sanford’s misuse of government resources to travel abroad. The Sanford attack ad, originally slated to air on Monday, was pushed to Wednesday in response to the Boston bombing, but might not have aired a moment too soon.
The Washington Post reports the ad buy ranges between $400,000 and $600,000 and will continue for the next three weeks, ending shortly before election day, which is May 7 . The Sanford campaign hit back with this ad, asserting that Colbert Busch is not as independent as she presents herself and that she has been bought out by labor unions to the tune of $30,000. This is the first negative ad buy from the Sanford campaign, and probably not the last.
With well over $200,000 in the bank, the Colbert Busch campaign has yet to go negative, but that hasn’t kept outside groups like House Majority PAC from doing the dirty work for her. House Majority PAC managed to spend over $35 million on the 2012 elections and isn’t slowing down now.
Thus far, the Colbert Busch campaign has kept to a message focused on jobs and business development in the district, stressing her credentials as a successful businesswoman. Similarly, the Sanford campaign spent the primary emphasizing his record as a fiscal hawk during his tenure as governor.
Nevertheless, Sanford’s chances for victory seem to be slipping away. POLITICO reports that the National Republican Congressional Committee is ending its support for Sanford following news that his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, filed a trespassing complaint in February.
Sanford’s campaign has about $250,000 on hand, according to the FEC, which may or may not last until May. Losing NRCC support may be the final straw for South Carolina Republicans who are still on the fence given Sanford’s questionable record. However, there are still two more weeks before election day and anything can happen.