Karl Rove to helm massive GOP fundraising drive for Georgia runoffs

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Senate Republicans have tapped Karl Rove to oversee their fundraising program for the Georgia runoff elections, according to a person familiar with the effort.

The former George W. Bush adviser will serve as national finance chair for the Georgia Battleground Fund, a joint fundraising account formed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee that will benefit Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The Jan. 5 runoffs in Georgia will determine which party controls the Senate next year.

The Georgia contests have become a focal point for both parties. Outside groups have begun to spend heavily and potential future presidential hopefuls, such as Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, are hitting the trail for the Republican candidates. Vice President Mike Pence is slated to travel to Georgia later this week.

People involved in the campaigns say it’s likely that the parties will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Georgia over the next two months. Loeffler is facing pastor Raphael Warnock, while Perdue is trying to beat back a challenge from documentary filmmaker Jon Ossoff.

An array of high-profile Republicans are joining Rove in the fundraising effort. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Vice President Dan Quayle and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley will serve as honorary co-chairs. Haley is also seen as a likely 2024 presidential contender.

Nick Ayers, a veteran of Georgia politics who formerly served as Pence’s chief of staff, and longtime Republican fundraisers Jeff Miller and Jack Oliver will be national co-chairs. The list of national co-chairs also includes former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Georgia GOP chair Alec Poitevint.

Republican officials declined to say how much they hoped to raise but said the fund, which was formed by NRSC chair Todd Young, took in nearly a quarter of its overall goal since it was launched last week.

President-elect Joe Biden narrowly carried Georgia in the presidential election, the first time a Democrat took the state’s electoral votes since 1992. While Georgia has long been Republican-friendly, voters in the states urban and suburban areas turned out in force against President Donald Trump. Perdue, meanwhile, failed to meet the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff, while Loeffler fought through a crowded race to the runoff that included a prominent Republican challenger, Rep. Doug Collins.

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