Exclusive – Republican leaders say the Georgia Battleground Fund – which they unveiled earlier this week to raise money for Georgia’s twin Senate runoff elections in order to maintain the GOP’s majority in the chamber – is a 50 state operation.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s (NRSC) Wednesday announcement, shared first with Fox News, includes 50 state chairs and co-chairs. The list includes Gov. Sean Parnell of Alaska, Gov. Doug Ducey and Sen. Jon Kyle of Arizona, Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, former Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and former Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico.
Earlier this week Politico reported and Fox News confirmed that longtime Republican strategist Karl Rove will serve as fund’s national finance chairman. Rove, who was President George W. Bush’s top political adviser during his two presidential campaigns and in the White House, is a longtime Fox News political analyst and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
A statement from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, shared first with Fox News on Nov.18, formally announces the Senate re-election arm’s Georgia Battleground Fund.
The fund is also being led by Sen. Todd Young of Indiana, the outgoing chair of the NRSC, which serves as the reelection arm of the Senate Republicans.
The NRSC announced on Wednesday that House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California and John James, the 2020 GOP Senate nominee in Michigan, will serve as honorary co-chairs of the fund. They join former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the U.N. under President Trump, as well as former Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and former Vice President Dan Quayle, whose names were first reported on Monday.
Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoff elections will determine whether the Republicans hold on to their majority in the Senate or if the Democrats will control both houses of Congress in addition to the White House. GOP officials declined to say how much money they expected to raise through the new fund. But the NRSC said late last week that it and the campaigns of the two Republican senators in Georgia – Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler – hauled in over $32 million in fundraising over the previous six days.
Young emphasized that the “two Georgia Senate seats are all that stand between total Democrat control in Washington.”
"Republicans will not let that happen on our watch and I’m proud of the team we’ve built to ensure Senators Perdue and Loeffler have all the financial resources they need to be successful in January,” he emphasized. “We’re committed to holding the line for the Senate majority once more this cycle.”
Rove highlighted that "America’s fate rests on the outcome of these Georgia races.”
He noted, “Democrats have not been shy about what they’ll do if Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi run Congress, so it’s imperative every freedom-loving American go all in for Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler so they’re victorious.”
The current balance of power for the next Senate — coming out of this month’s elections — is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. That means the Democrats must win both of Georgia’s runoff elections to make it a 50-50 Senate, in which Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote, giving her party a razor-thin majority in the chamber.
Republican candidates for U.S. Senate Sen. Kelly Loeffler, left, and Sen. David Perdue wait to speak at a campaign rally on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Cumming, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
In Georgia, where state law dictates a runoff if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote, Perdue narrowly missed avoiding a runoff. He currently stands at 49.75% in the count, with nearly all votes counted. Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff trails by roughly 87,000 votes.
In the other race, Loeffler captured nearly 26% of the vote in a whopping 20-candidate special election to fill the final two years of the term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson. Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock won nearly 33% of the vote.
Georgia Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate Raphael Warnock, left, and Jon Ossoff, right, gesture toward a crowd during a campaign rally on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Marietta, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
The NRSC touts that they have more than 12 staffers on the ground in Georgia, as they coordinate the field operations between the Perdue and Loeffler campaigns. Jesse Hunt, the committee’s communications director, told Fox News last week that the NRSC and the two campaigns were building a “massive” field program – with contributions from the Republican National Committee – that includes 21 regional field directors and 1,000 field staff across the Peach State.
The NRSC's counterpart, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), announced last week that it's planning a multimillion dollar field effort to register and turn out Georgia voters.