Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is now for Scott Wagner
August 9, 2018In its first major move in support of a candidate in Pennsylvania this cycle, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity announced Thursday it will support Scott Wagner in his campaign to unseat Gov. Tom Wolf this November.
The self-proclaimed grassroots free-market advocacy group, deeply entrenched in conservative politics, will canvass, make phone calls and run paid advertisements backing the Republican nominee and state senator, while highlighting Mr. Wolf’s “failed policy record” as a Democratic incumbent governor, according to a release.
In a statement, Beth Anne Mumford, the group’s Pennsylvania director, said Mr. Wagner’s record “reflects strong leadership on causes our activists champion.” The Republican has based much of his campaign on making Pennsylvania more friendly to businesses, while Americans for Prosperity fights for lowering taxes and restraining the influence government has over the economy — ideas, Ms. Mumford said, that Mr. Wolf has failed to abide by in his first term as governor.
“Wolf’s lack of leadership has instead left the Commonwealth with a legacy of bigger government, higher taxes, and runaway spending that consistently stifles economic dynamism and prioritizes Harrisburg’s interests over those of everyday Pennsylvanians,” Ms. Mumford said.
With three field offices in the state and half a dozen paid staffers, Americans for Prosperity hopes to replicate the success it had in 2016 when it spent more than $1 million helping defeat Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee Katie McGinty, who lost to incumbent Republican Pat Toomey in what ended up being the most expensive Senate race in the country. During that effort, volunteers knocked on more than 135,000 doors and made 2.4 million phone calls.
The group did not signal how much it would spend in support of Mr. Wagner, but with 13 weeks left until the election, its “signature grassroots infrastructure” will be “in full effect” to secure him a victory, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania chapter said. Dozens of volunteers will deploy from their offices in the Erie, Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas to canvass and interact with constituents.
Americans for Prosperity, known for more than a decade for its backing of conservative candidates, is “raising the bar” on which candidates it engages with — looking for policy agreements, not party affiliation, the branch spokesman said.
Americans for Prosperity has had Mr. Wagner on their radar since at least 2016, when it recognized him as one of 10 Pennsylvania state lawmakers who scored an “A+” for voting against overspending and in favor of measures that enhanced economic freedom.
Read the full article HERE.