GOP super PAC builds footprint in TX-7, TX-23

With less than 100 days until Election Day, a leading Republican super PAC working to protect the House majority is digging in on field efforts in two of Texas’ most competitive races.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the top outside group aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, has had offices open since December in the 7th and 23rd congressional districts, where Republican U.S. Reps. John Culberson of Houston and Will Hurd of Helotes, respectively, are fighting for re-election. It’s a less conventional role for a super PAC — such groups typically devote much of their money to TV ads. On Saturday, CLF provided a glimpse of how its TX-7 office has been aiding Culberson on the ground as he faces Democratic challenger Lizzie Pannill Fletcher.

The office occupies a third-floor suite in an unassuming office building a short drive off Loop 610 in the district. It’s adorned with Astros and Rockets flags, and one wall keeps track of the number of doors people are knocking on and calls they’re making, setting up some friendly competition.

Like most of CLF’s offices — it’s up to 34 across the country — the TX-7 outpost is led by one paid staffer who oversees a group of interns and volunteers that CLF aims to recruit mostly from local Republican groups. On any given day, five or six people are working out of the office, block walking and making calls. There were 15 people there Saturday afternoon, more than usual as CLF held its nationwide Super Saturday day of action.

In TX-7, CLF’s troops are highlighting Culberson’s support for the tax overhaul the GOP passed last year, which is being touted in many battleground races throughout the country. But they’re also emphasizing issues with a more local focus, such as Culberson’s work on Hurricane Harvey aid and the expansion of the Katy Freeway, the massive section of Interstate 10 that cuts through TX-7. Those are among the topics listed on a CLF door hanger for Culberson as well as a phone script — which also asks voters about the job they think President Donald Trump is doing, an important metric for Culberson in a district that Hillary Clinton narrowly won in 2016.

“Since last December, CLF staffers and volunteers in Texas’ 7th Congressional District have been informing voters about how Congressman Culberson is delivering results for their community by securing funding for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and cutting taxes for middle-class families,” CLF spokesman Michael Byerly said in a statement. “This sets up a nice contrast to Lizzie Fletcher who would support Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda in Congress, like reversing a $2,791 tax cut for hardworking Texas families.”

Fletcher has criticized the tax law as “designed to appease the GOP’s megadonors” at the expense of average Americans.

To be sure, Fletcher’s campaign is also hard at work on the ground in TX-7, ready to go after a long, competitive primary and runoff. On Saturday morning, its field office was humming with activity as groups of block walkers shuttled through and nearly two dozen people spread out across its field office to make calls and write postcards to voters.

You can read the full article here.