With new GOP infusion, ad spending in CD 27 nearly quadruple the next-costliest U.S. House race in South Florida

SALAZAR TADDEO SBS
Campaigns and political committees have spent more than $3.1M there so far.

Florida’s 27th Congressional District is host to what many consider the most competitive U.S. House seat in South Florida. Accordingly, far more money has gone to broadcast buys there than any other district in the area.

As of Monday, campaigns and political committees have spent more than $3.1 million in CD 27, which covers a large portion of Miami-Dade County between Miami and Cutler Bay. Spending on the next-costliest race was $834,000.

More than half the money came from the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), which Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy runs. The organization reserved nearly $1.7 million worth of airtime last week for English- and Spanish-language ads to help freshman Republican U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar win re-election Nov. 8.

The campaign team of Salazar’s opponent, Democratic Miami state Sen. Annette Taddeo, called the recent GOP expenditure a “last-minute scramble” proving Taddeo’s “message is reaching voters and that (her campaign is) on track to flip this district.”

Nationwide, the CLF has committed $14 million in new television ad reservations, adding to $162 million in ad set-asides the organization made this election cycle. The new spending in CD 27 represents the first time this cycle the CLF is paying for ads in Florida, according to its list of prior spending.

“We’re in a great position to elect a new Republican majority,” CLF President Dan Conston said in a statement. “We’ll continue expanding our arsenal and laying down the additional firepower we need to take the fight to Democrats and win.”

Even before the CLF cash influx, CD 27 still led South Florida in congressional campaign spending.

Salazar’s campaign has spent $516,000 this cycle, according to political spending tracker AdImpact. Taddeo’s campaign spent $557,000. Democratically aligned groups — including the League of Conservation Voters, Donna Democrats, Climate Power and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — spent $861,000 combined for broadcast space in the district. And before he lost the Democratic Primary, Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell paid out another $50,000 for airtime.

Not counting the money from the CLF, candidates and political committees have spent about $587,000 more so far in CD 27 than in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, the second-most expensive South Florida district contest in terms of TV and radio advertising.

No person or group has spent more on the CD 23 race than Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz, who in August won a six-way Democratic Primary for CD 23. Voters will decide Nov. 8 whether to elect him or Republican Joe Budd to replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch.

Deutch resigned from Congress Saturday.

AdImpact shows Moskowitz spent $214,000. Moving Broward Forward, a super PAC that launched in mid-May to support Moskowitz’s campaign, spent another $70,000. Protect Our Future PAC, which endorsed Moskowitz in July, spent $191,000.

Other spending by Democratic candidates included $103,000 by Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Ben Sorensen and $20,000 by former Anti-Defamation League Florida Regional Director Hava Holzhauer.

Web3 Forward PAC, a political committee dedicated to overhauling and decentralizing the internet through the use of blockchain technology, spent $154,000. AdImpact attributes the organization’s spending as Democratically inclined.

On the Republican side, insurance broker Darlene Swaffer and lawyers Jim Pruden and Ira Weinstein spent $83,000 combined on failed bids to secure the Republican Primary.

Predictions for the CD 27 race have varied since Salazar and Taddeo won their respective Primaries last month. British outlet The Economist and the conservative-leaning Washington Examiner rank the contest as “the most competitive in the House.”

Polling data supports that outlook. In late June, Taddeo’s campaign released survey figures showing Salazar led her by just 2 points in a head-to-head matchup, 47%-45%, well within the poll’s 5-point margin of error.

Another poll Floridians for Economic Advancement released one month later also found Taddeo was within striking distance of the incumbent.

Some are less convinced the race is that close. Statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight gives Taddeo a 7% chance of winning based on 40,000 simulations of the election.

Elsewhere in South Florida, there has been six-figure spending in Florida’s 20th Congressional District and Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, AdImpact figures show. In all others, no more than $30,000 has been spent.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.



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