NRA backs Cornyn and attacks Hegar with digital ads

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The newly formed super PAC of the National Rifle Association, NRA Victory Fund, has begun paying for digital ads supporting Sen. John Cornyn’s re-election.

Federal Election Commission filings show NRA Victory Fund has dumped $322,513 into digital advertising for the U.S. Senate race since September. Most of those independent expenditures are for digital ads opposing Hegar. On Monday, the group filed its first independent expenditure of $36,560 supporting Cornyn. 

Here is how the ads appear to viewers on Facebook:

In August, The Trace reported that NRA began funneling money from its membership organization PAC, NRA Political Victory Fund, to its newly formed super PAC NRA Victory Fund. Unlike the group’s original PAC that can only fundraise limited amounts from its members, the NRA’s new super PAC can accept unlimited contributions from individuals. 

The NRA’s original membership-based PAC has also been busy this cycle and has paid for $158,415 in direct mailers supporting Cornyn’s re-election. That puts the NRA’s monetary involvement into the race at just shy of half a million dollars. 

Conversely, major gun control PACs have yet to weigh into the Senate race. The Bloomberg-founded gun reform advocacy organization Everytown for Gun Safety has instead pumped big dollars into down-ballot races. 
FEC filings show Everytown’s campaign arm has invested more than $1.2 million dollars into opposing or supporting congressional campaigns in Texas. Most impressively, a $750,000 television ad buy made last Thursday to oppose Beth Van Duyne, the rightwing opponent of Democratic candidate Candace Valenzuela, whom the Signal profiled in August.

Photo: Loren Elliott/Getty Images

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