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Democratic House campaign’s big ad buy includes Tampa

Posted Apr 18, 2012 by William March

Updated Apr 18, 2012 at 06:28 PM

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House campaign arm of the national Democratic Party, reportedly has reserved some $32 million in TV advertising time for after Labor Day, including $8.3 million in Florida and $2.5 million in the Tampa Bay area—possibly aimed at Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

If so, it’s a suggestion that the DCCC takes seriously the challenge to Young by Jessica Ehrlich, a St. Petersburg lawyer and former congressional staffer. Ehrlich is a comparative political unknown but hopes to mount a serious campaign against Young, long one of the most powerful congress members from Florida. Young is running for re-election to his 22nd term in the House.

Veteran Florida Democratic strategist Steve Schale, however, suggests the buy could be aimed at Vern Buchanan, with Democratic challenger Keith Fitzgerald.

News of the big DCCC ad buy came from a posting on Politico. FSP is awaiting a callback from the DCCC to discuss it, but a press spokeswoman who said she wasn’t authorized to talk on the record about it indicated the story was correct.

FSP’s also awaiting a callback from Young’s campaign. Ehrlich spokeswoman Gwen Rocco called the news “a serious signal that national Dems believe this is a race we can win.”

Young is one of the most solidly entrenched House members from Florida, and popular in his district. But the campaign committees of both parties, including the DCCC, typically don’t spend their money in districts where they think they have no chance.

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