House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is raising money in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday afternoon on behalf of Jesse Kelly, the former Iraq War veteran who ousted an establishment favorite in the 8th district GOP primary last month and faces Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in November.
So far, the National Republican Congressional Committee has not reserved any TV ad time in the district. However, a source close to Kelly said the campaign sees Boehner’s visit as a clear sign of the national party’s support.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved time in the district from Oct. 12 through Election Day. The committee had planned to start its buy two weeks earlier but scaled back the plans this week.
Elsewhere in Arizona, the NRCC is already on the air in the 1st district, where it has reserved time from Sept. 12 to Oct. 21. The committee has also reserved time in the 5th district from Oct. 1 to 21. The DCCC will also be on the air in those Phoenix-area districts for the last three weeks of the campaign.
The Kelly campaign expects to be on the air in the “near future,” according to the source. The campaign’s internal polling shows there isn’t one specific bill that Giffords has supported that has riled voters. Rather, it’s everything, including cap-and-trade, health care reform and the controversial state immigration bill.
The Giffords campaign launched its first TV ad of the general election on Aug. 24. The ad attacked Kelly for wanting to “phase out Social Security.” Her campaign released three TV ads before the primary.
“Anyone who has to go out and work for a living should be very frightened today,” Giffords campaign manager Rodd McLeod said in response to Boehner’s visit. “Both Boehner and Jesse Kelly are committed to tilting the tax code even further toward corporations and the rich at the expense of the middle class.”
Boehner is also scheduled to be in the Phoenix area Friday night for a fundraiser for three candidates: Ben Quayle in the 3rd district, David Schweikert in the 5th district and Paul Gosar in the 1st district. The event is reportedly being held at the home of former Vice President Dan Quayle, and Arizona GOP Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl are also scheduled to appear, according to a report from Politico.