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Senate GOP campaign arm names key Daines aide to lead major ad spending

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Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) is tapping a trusted political aide from his own orbit to lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s independent expenditure operation in 2024.

Brock Lowrance will set the strategy and spending decisions for tens of millions of dollars worth of ads as part of the GOP’s drive for the Senate majority. Republicans may need to flip only one seat to retake control — and they have a dream map that includes three Democratic-held seats in states that Donald Trump carried.

The NRSC raised $18 million in March and saw its cash-on-hand swell to over $36 million, according to the committee. When Daines took over the NRSC, it was $20 million in debt. The GOP will still have a difficult task ahead, despite the favorable battleground: Democratic incumbents are raising globs of money and will be extremely well-funded on the air.

A Montana native, Lowrance has focused on political campaigns out west, managing Daines’ first Senate race in 2014. He has also advised Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and Idaho Gov. Brad Little.

In an interview with POLITICO, Lowrance said he was preparing to get involved in any state where the NRSC landed a strong recruit: Montana, Ohio, Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada and “even in New Mexico”. But five of those states will likely have nominees who can self-fund part of their bids and help level the playing field — a key component of the NRSC’s 2024 strategy.

“The reality is that Democrats raise a lot of money,” Lowrance said. “It’s going to be great that in a lot of these races, candidates that have been successful are willing to make their own investment.”

He named immigration and inflation as some of the top potential ad topics. But he expects President Joe Biden will play a heavy role too: “A lot of these folks are trying to have it both ways where they’re going to try to run from Biden’s record at the same time trying to curry favors for him.”

TV ads typically take up the bulk of any IE’s budget. But Lowrance said the committee will also look into less traditional methods and place a focus on digital ads as well.“You have to do everything you can to find and reach these undecided voters and that takes more than just traditional advertising approaches, in my opinion,” he said.

Lowrance, an experienced ad maker, left the GOP firm FP1 Strategies to serve as a senior adviser to the NRSC when Daines took the helm in 2023. He will now transition to the independent expenditure arm.

Daines said in a statement that Lowrance “has the full trust of Senate Republicans to help deliver a lasting majority.” NRSC Executive Director Jason Thielman said he “would trust Brock with my life and my family, so putting him in charge of the IE was an easy decision.”