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Most expensive primaries

The most expensive House primary races so far

Most attention may be on the presidential race this year, but House primaries have already broken records for their ad spending. Here are the top five most expensive House primaries so far, based on an analysis of TV ad spending from our friends at AdImpact.

NY-16 Dems: Jamaal Bowman v George Latimer — $24.8 million

New York’s 16th District Democratic primary is officially the priciest House primary race of all time.

AIPAC’s super PAC alone has poured more than $14 million in ads in the district to unseat Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.). The pro-Israel group’s super PAC, United Democracy Project, rarely directly references Israel in its messaging. Instead, most ads have attacked Bowman as a self-interested force working against President Joe Biden, while touting Westchester County Executive George Latimer as a commonsense Democrat.

As we wrote earlier in this edition, Bowman is in the biggest fight for his political career with lukewarm support from his party leaders. The primary day is today, June 25.

VA-5 GOP: Bob Good v John McGuire — $15.4 million

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his megadonor allies organized a coordinated effort to attack House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good (R-Va.) on the air. State Sen. John McGuire has been slightly ahead in the results of the June 18 primary that could knock off Good. It could take weeks to declare a winner.

Good voted to oust McCarthy and also drew the ire of former President Donald Trump when he endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president. Top spenders in this race include a super PAC backed by finance giants Ken Griffin and Paul Singer.

OK-4 GOP: Tom Cole v Paul Bondar — $11.4 million

Businessman Paul Bondar came out of obscurity to dump millions of his own money into his long-shot primary campaign against powerful House Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.). Bondar fell far short in his bid to hit Cole from the right. Establishment groups linked to House GOP leadership were forced to parachute in to support Cole.

VA-10 Dems: Open seat vacated by Jennifer Wexton — $9.4 million

A crowded field of 12 Democrats vying to replace retiring Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) in this suburban D.C. district was the perfect recipe for a pricey campaign. A pro-cryptocurrency PAC, Protect Progress, backed state Del. Dan Helmer with a $4.1 million expenditure. But it wasn’t enough for Helmer, who lost to state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam.

S.C.-1 GOP: Nancy Mace v Catherine Templeton — $9.2 million

Another stop in McCarthy’s “revenge tour” came in his unsuccessful effort to defeat Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.). South Carolina Patriots PAC, linked to McCarthy’s big-money allies, dumped $3.5 million in ads hitting Mace and boosting her opponent Catherine Templeton. The pro-Mace Club for Growth also poured $1.3 million into the race, which Mace won by more than 20 points.

— Max Cohen

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.