Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) political action committee is launching a major ad campaign backing Rep. Tom Cotton's (R-Ark.) Senate bid, its first move to help a 2014 candidate.
The Reclaim America PAC ad, set to run statewide, touts Cotton's military background and fiscal conservatism.
Rubio is considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate, and sowing goodwill with conservatives like Cotton could pay off if he decides to run.
Cotton's campaign against Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) has been the most active in the country, partly because the GOP has unified around him and avoided a primary and partly because of Pryor's electoral vulnerability in the heavily conservative state. Both campaigns and outside groups have been spending heavily on the airwaves on both sides.
Reclaim America spokesman Terry Sullivan says that's one reason why the group has decided to go on the air in the state.
"He's the first one we've endorsed as a PAC. We have a policy of getting behind 4-5 conservative Senate candidates and aggressively working for them. That race has heated up quickly. Pryor is up with ads, there's a third-party group attacking Tom Cotton up with ads," he says.
Cotton and Rubio are also ideologically similar, sharing hawkish foreign policy views and hardline fiscal conservatism.
"Marco identifies with Tom a lot and thinks he'd make a great senator," Sullivan says.
Sullivan declined to say how large the ad buy would be or how long it would run, but indicated it would be a major statewide investment.