RJC announces massive $1.5m ad spending in Pennsylvania Senate race

Combined with House races, the group will spend more than $2.7 million in Pennsylvania this cycle.

 Pennsylvania Republican US Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks during former US president Donald Trump's rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, US, September 3, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY)
Pennsylvania Republican US Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks during former US president Donald Trump's rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, US, September 3, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY)

WASHINGTON – As the Pennsylvania Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz tightens, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) announced a $1.5 million ad campaign. Recent polls suggest that Fetterman holds a narrow lead over Oz.

The RJC’s Victory Fund announced the spending as part of an independent expenditure targeted at the African American community, it said in a press release.

“Fetterman’s outrageous vigilantism – pulling a shotgun on an unarmed, innocent Black man in 2013 – is absolutely disqualifying for someone wanting to be a United States Senator,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the RJC.

“Let’s not forget what happened that day: John Fetterman, armed with a shotgun, chased down a Black jogger and wrongfully held him against his will at gunpoint,” he said in a statement.

“To compound this outrage, John Fetterman – to this day – has never apologized to the victim, Christopher Miyares, to the Black community, or to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” he added.

 Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor and US Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks during a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, September 24, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/HANNAH BEIER) Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor and US Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks during a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, September 24, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/HANNAH BEIER)

A Jewish face-off awaits in another Pennsylvania House race

The RJC was already heavily invested in two other House races in Pennsylvania, for the 7th and the 8th congressional districts. The latter will feature a face-off between two Jewish candidates, Democrat incumbent Susan Wild and Republican challenger Lisa Scheller. It will also be a rematch after they competed against each other in the 2020 election. The RJC said it would spend $750,000 in ads targeting Wild.

RJC strategy is focused on Pennsylvania because the path to Republican majorities in the US Senate and House of Representatives “runs directly through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania this November,” RJC national political director Sam Markstein told The Jerusalem Post.

“All three races where the RJC is training its firepower are considered “toss-ups,” and we are laser-focused on making the decisive difference,” he said.

“RJC is currently running hard-hitting broadcast and cable television ads in targeted congressional districts in PA-7 and PA-8, as well as our largest-ever independent expenditure for a US Senate race at $1.5m. in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh,” Markstein said. “Combined, the RJC Victory Fund will spend more than $2.7m. in Pennsylvania this cycle.”

“Implementing the policy objectives that the RJC prioritizes starts with winning elections,” he said. “The targeted ad campaigns currently on the air in Pennsylvania move the needle significantly in these three respective ‘toss-up’ races and puts Republicans that much closer to retaking Congress from the Democrats.”

Halie Soifer, CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), criticized the campaign.

“Clearly, the RJC has entirely given up on Jewish voters, who are overwhelmingly Democrats,” she tweeted. “Instead, they’re targeting Black voters in Pennsylvania with these vile ads about Fetterman.”

JDCA and JDCA PAC are engaged in states that will determine the congressional majority,” Soifer later told the Post. “We are spending money to mobilize voters in places where we know the Jewish vote can make a difference in November. That’s the key difference between us and the RJC: We’re getting out the vote, and they appear to be aiming to suppress the vote. Shame on them.”