GOP super PAC drops new TV ad in contested NC House race

GOP super PAC drops new TV ad in contested NC House race
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The super PAC aligned with House Republican leadership is dropping a new television ad in the race for North Carolina’s contested 9th District accusing Democrat Dan McCready of backing lobbying efforts that benefited his own business.

The 30-second spot from the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) is set to debut on television and online on Tuesday. It’s part of a $1.65 million investment that the group is making in the 9th District special election, which is slated for Sept. 10.

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The ad cites a July article from the Washington Examiner reporting that McCready sat on the board of a nonprofit group that lobbied in favor of state clean energy policy that benefited a solar-investment fund he co-founded.

Critics of that policy say that it raises utility prices for consumers, while supporters of the standards argue that it has bolstered the clean energy sector in North Carolina with little impact on consumers.

“Your utility bills went up, and so did McCready’s profits,” a narrator in the CLF says. “Greedy Dan McCready gamed the system. He profited. You paid.”

McCready’s campaign has previously rebuffed the criticism of his company’s solar energy investments. Matt Fried, a spokesperson for McCready’s campaign, told the Examiner last month that McCready’s business record helped create jobs and made North Carolina a leader in solar power.

“As a Marine and small business owner, Dan is proud of the role he played in making North Carolina the second in the nation for solar power, having helped build 36 solar farms that put 700 North Carolinians to work in good-paying jobs,” Fried told the news site.

The September election is the second in the 9th District in less than a year. McCready initially faced Republican Mark HarrisMark HarrisThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Why my American Indian tribe voted Republican in NC's special election North Carolina race raises 2020 red flags for Republicans, Democrats MORE in a November 2018 election. But the results of that race were scrapped after North Carolina officials determined that balloting had been tainted by fraud on the part of a contractor hired by Harris’s campaign.

Harris announced in February that he would not run in the special election, prompting a primary for the Republican nomination. Republican State Sen. Dan Bishop won that primary in May.

The 9th District has been represented by Republicans since the 1960s and voters there handed President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE an 11-point victory over Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Manafort sought to hurt Clinton 2016 campaign efforts in key states: NYT MORE in 2016. Still, even before the 2018 election results were scrapped, McCready and Harris were separated by only about 900 votes, fueling Democratic hopes of flipping the district.

The race between McCready and Bishop has attracted significant outside attention. In addition to the ad campaign, CLF is also spending more than $150,000 on a voter persuasion program in the district.