National Republican Party steering $2.2 million in ad money to Massachusetts
National Republicans rarely have any reason to spend big in US House races in Massachusetts, a state that last had a Republican congressman in 1997.
Not so this year.
On Wednesday, party leaders in Washington announced that they had reserved $2.2 million in ad time for the Boston area in the fall. The Democratic Party has already reserved $3.6 million in ad time for its candidates in the Boston area this fall.
The Republican ad buy is further confirmation that party officials in Washington view Richard Tisei, the former state Senate Republican leader who is challenging incumbent Democrat John Tierney, as their best chance to pick up a seat in Massachusetts, helping them preserve their majority in the US House.
The money, however, is also expected to be spent in support of Charles Bass and Frank Guinta, incumbent Republicans who are in competitive races in New Hampshire, which is also served by Boston-area media markets.
“It shows we’re planning on going on the offensive, and not just playing defense,” said Nathaniel Sillin, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Tisei, a 49-year-old real estate agent, who served 25 years in the state Legislature, has been named a “Young Gun” by the Republican Party, an indication that party leaders have prioritized his race and are prepared to shower him with money and attention.
Tierney has been made a target in large part because of his brother-in-law’s involvement in an illegal sports betting scheme that also ensnared Tierney’s wife.
Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty in 2010 to helping her brother, Robert Eremian, falsify his tax filings, and she admitted to “willful blindness” in not reporting the gambling operation.Michael Levenson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.