GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations

GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations
© Greg Nash

Republican Rep. Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesTrump approves North Carolina disaster declaration for Florence GOP says House votes will take place despite Hurricane Florence S.C. governor orders evacuation along state coastline MORE (N.C.) slammed his Republican primary challenger this week for supporting “establishment” politicians like House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act GOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign MORE (R-Wis.). 

The radio ad attack comes after Jones’s primary rival, Scott Dacey, questioned the congressman’s loyalty to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE

In the ad, Jones's campaign highlights Dacey’s political donations over the past 25 years as an attempt to undercut Dacey’s attempts to position himself as the choice for Trump loyalists. 

“Lobbyist Scott Dacey has never given a time to Donald Trump, but but he’s given over $170,000 to support the builders of the swamp,” the new ad says.

“His list of contributions to the establishment, both Democrats and Republicans, is so lengthy we had to hire an auctioneer to run through it.”

The fast-talking narrator then highlights Dacey’s donations to former House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE (R-Ohio), vocal Trump critic Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (R-Ariz.) and Ryan, as well as a handful of donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made by Dacey in the 1990s. 

A separate ad by Jones accuses Dacey of being late to join the Trump bandwagon, pointing to a lack of pro-Trump posts on his personal Facebook page. 

Jones has regularly clashed with House GOP leadership during his time in Congress — he didn’t vote for BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE for speaker in 2015 or Ryan later that year, although he did vote for Ryan’s speakership in 2017. Jones also voted against the GOP tax-reform plan and GOP plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, citing concerns about the impact of those bills on the federal debt.

ADVERTISEMENT

And Ryan’s political arm hasn’t backed Jones’s campaign, even as it provides financial help for other Republican lawmakers facing primary challengers.

Doug Raymond, a consultant working for Jones, told The Hill that the Speaker counts as part of the “the establishment.”

“I don’t think that Speaker Ryan is viewed in the same way as Speaker Boehner by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think that he is considered to be establishment and considered to be someone who is impeding the progress of the Trump agenda,” Raymond told The Hill.

“That was part of the contrast: you’ve got this guy saying that his whole campaign is about support for Donald Trump, but as the ad points out in the language, he has been financing the people who built the swamp.”

In a statement to The Hill, Dacey framed the advertisements as a "desperate attempt by Jones to divert attention away from his opposition to the President's agenda."
 
"On the rare occasion that he shows up to vote, he has chosen time after time to cast his votes with Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act Internal RNC poll shows Pelosi is more popular than Trump: report MORE, while turning his back on President Trump and the people of eastern North Carolina, just as he did when he voted against the Trump tax reform bill," he added. 

Dacey, who outraised Jones by about $60,000 in 2017, is a longtime lobbyist and political consultant. He launched radio ads of his own earlier this week chiding Jones for missing votes and arguing that Jones is "opposing the Trump agenda” by voting against the recent GOP tax plan.

Jones has served in Congress since 1995, surviving a few tough primary challenges along the way in a safe red district.

Republican voters will cast their ballots on May 8.