The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) began targeting Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) and other swing-state Democrats Monday with a new billboard campaign.
“Ask Tina Smith about the 430,478 Minnesota jobs at risk under the Green New Deal,” the NRSC’s new Minnesota billboard states. Smith has expressed support for the Green New Deal, but voted “present” along with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) when the measure was put up for a vote in the Senate.
— Kevin Poindexter (@Kdpoindexter) April 22, 2019
State Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point), Smith’s 2018 opponent, tweeted a picture of the billboard Monday along with the contact information for Smith’s office.
“Yep, you should ask Sen. Tina Smith. I saved you the search,” Housley said. Smith defeated Housley in the 2018 special election to finish the remainder of former Sen. Al Franken’s term, but she will be up for reelection again in 2020.
— Karin Housley (@KarinHousley) April 22, 2019
It’s been rumored that Housley may run for the seat again in 2020, and her Senate committee website simply states “stay tuned.”
Doug Wardlow, the Minnesota Republican Party’s 2018 nominee for attorney general, is also reportedly considering a run against Smith in 2020.
Monday’s move makes it clear that national Republicans have their eye on Smith’s seat and those of several of her Democratic colleagues. According to The Hill, the NRSC’s billboard campaign targets Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Arizona Democratic candidate Mark Kelly.
Jones and Shaheen are being criticized for their support of the Democratic Party’s Medicare for All proposal.
“Doug Jones silent as 2,472,100 Alabamians would lose their private health insurance,” a billboard in Birmingham, Alabama states.
A person familiar with the campaign told The Hill that the cost of the billboards was small, but offers an early glimpse into the GOP’s 2020 strategy.
“2020 Senate Democrat candidates will not get a pass on the extreme socialist policies being pushed by their party,” Jesse Hunt, communications director for the NRSC, told The Hill. “Voters will be reminded of the millions of Americans that will lose jobs and private health insurance if Democrats take control.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tina Smith Billboard” by NRSC; “Tina Smith” by Sen. Tina Smith.