Defeated GOP senator Cory Gardner's new mission: Boost fundraising for fellow Republicans

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Former GOP Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado is chairing a newly formed super PAC that aims to direct fundraising straight to Republican candidates running in the 2022 midterm elections, as the party tries to win back majorities in both chambers of Congress.

The mission of the National Victory Action Fund, which was launched on Tuesday, is to “build the robust grassroots digital fundraising infrastructure Republicans will need to win the House and Senate.”

The plan is for the PAC to run ads urging donors to contribute directly to the candidates, which helps the candidates fundraise early in the 2022 election cycle, when hauling in money can be difficult. And it allows donors to get more bang for their bucks – as campaigns have access to lower TV ad rates than outside groups.

“Early on, when campaigns have the most time, money is harder to come by. Late in the campaign, when time is short, money comes in droves,” notes Jeff Larson, a former Republican National Committee chief of staff who’s on the board of the new organization.

Larson emphasizes that “Republicans need to find a way to get money to campaigns as early as possible. … In order to do that and, consequently, elect conservative candidates to the House and Senate in 2022, I’m proud to introduce the National Victory Action Fund (NVAF).”

Gardner, who won election to the Senate in 2014 by defeating Democratic incumbent Mark Udall, was defeated in his bid for reelection last year by former two-term Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) asks a question to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, DC, U.S. July 30, 2020. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo – RC2N3J93UHG0

In announcing the new group, Gardner highlighted that “out in Colorado, we had far-left groups from out of state saturating the airwaves with millions in television ads years before Election Day.”

He lamented that “when I finally had enough money to respond in kind, they had already influenced public opinion in a way that was almost impossible to overcome. I’m proud to join with NVAF because getting resources to campaigns is vital if we want to prevent this from happening to other candidates.”

The push by the new group appears to be an attempt to match what nationally known voting rights activist and grassroots organizer Stacey Abrams has done in Georgia. The efforts by Abrams, Georgia’s 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, are credited with helping President Biden last November become the first Democrat in more than a quarter-century to carry the once-solidly red state of Georgia in a White House race.

And Abrams’ efforts were also considered crucial in helping Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock defeat Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in Georgia’s twin Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections, which gave the Democrats the majority in the chamber for the first time in six years.

The organizers of NVAF say they mimicked Abrams’ efforts as a test run during the Georgia runoffs and tout that they raised $11 million for Loeffler and Perdue.

Larson, who also served as an executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s independent expenditure unit, stressed that “candidates and campaigns know how to spend the money better than anyone else. We can provide a complementary way for those campaigns to raise money sooner, allowing their dollar to go farther on media and enabling them to have more control over their message.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.


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