GOP groups mobilize in Pennsylvania ahead of special election

GOP groups mobilize in Pennsylvania ahead of special election
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A top GOP super PAC is opening two offices in Pennsylvania to pound the pavement ahead of a pivotal special House election there in March. 

The Congressional Leadership Fund will open two offices on either side of the 18th Congressional District, which will hold a special election to replace Rep. Tim MurphyTim MurphyFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Pennsylvania New Members 2019 Poll: Lamb has double-digit lead in Pennsylvania House race MORE (R) on March 13. Murphy resigned late last year after reports of an affair surfaced. 
 
Those offices will house at least 50 full-time door-knockers, the group announced, meant to convince voters to back the GOP nominee, state Rep. Rick Saccone, over Democrat Conor Lamb. 
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"Pennsylvania’s special election is very simple,” CLF executive director Corry Bliss said in a statement announcing the new offices. 
 
“There are two stark choices: Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi, Dems plot strategy after end of Mueller probe Coons after Russia probe: House Dems need to use power in 'focused and responsible way' Trump, Congress brace for Mueller findings MORE’s handpicked candidate who will be nothing more than a foot soldier in her liberal war on America, or a proven conservative who will stand for Pennsylvania families and their values.”
 
The 18th District is typically viewed a safe conservative seat — President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE won it by almost 20 points in 2016, and Murphy didn't face much electoral competition during his time in office. But Democrats are emboldened by their overperformance in special elections held in GOP territory last year, culminating in a high-profile victory in the Alabama Senate special election. Those trends, they believe, could foreshadow a far more competitive race in Pennsylvania than in past years.  
 
Republican outside groups are acting early to attempt to shore up the party's chances in the race. On top of the CLF's announcement, Ending Spending Inc. announced a $1 million ad campaign in the district this week, centered on a new ad that touts Saccone as a "proven leader."   
 
National Democrats, by contrast, have so far kept their distance from Lamb in the conservative district. That's akin to the party's strategy in other red-leaning areas, like Alabama, where some operatives believed that the best course of action was to avoid anything that could link a Democratic candidate to the national party and potentially turn off conservative voters.