A leading Super PAC has reserved $9.5 million in airtime for advertisements in Ohio to help prop up Democrat Ted Strickland, who is running to unseat Republican Sen. Rob Portman in November.
The Senate Majority PAC, affiliated with outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), announced the ad buy on Wednesday, Politico first reported. The group has already spent $1.8 million on advertisements in Ohio knocking Portman.
The announcement came after the campaign for Strickland, a former governor and congressman, indicated to supporters that it did not want to rely on a Super PAC spending "millions" of dollars on the race.
"Let me just reiterate something we’ve said all along," Strickland campaign manager Rebecca Pearcey wrote in a fundraising email sent Saturday. "While Rob Portman relies on his super PAC and a handful of billionaires to do his dirty work, we don’t have a super PAC, and quite frankly, we don’t want one that spends millions to spew out lies and distortions."
The Strickland campaign has repeatedly railed against dark money and outside group spending in elections. Another fundraising message sent by the campaign on Thursday read, "Let’s keep control of our future out of the hands of super PACs."
But Strickland is poised to benefit from the Senate Majority PAC’s newly announced advertisements, which will begin airing in September.
"No candidate in America leans more on outside money than Ted Strickland whose campaign has struggled to raise support for his retread candidacy. And nobody is more hypocritical either," Portman campaign spokesperson Michawn Rich said in a statement.
The announcement came a week after Portman’s campaign disclosed that it had reserved $15 million in statewide television airtime and YouTube inventory for advertisements through the November election.
Earlier in May, a super PAC supporting Portman, called the Fighting for Ohio Fund, also launched a $1.5 million television and and online advertisement buy targeting Strickland.