One Year Out: Ads & candidates running against Cunningham

Updated: Nov. 19, 2019 at 6:17 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One year out from the 2020 Congressional Election, six Republican candidates have filed to run against incumbent Rep. Joe Cunningham, and a well-funded commercial against him is airing.

Joe Cunningham’s election in 2018 flipped the first congressional district of South Carolina from a Republican to a Democrat representative for the first time in 40 years.

Conservatives are already taking aim ahead of the 2020 election.

You may have noticed this television ad running. It’s paid for by the American Action Network, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, which is defined as a social welfare organization, according to the IRS.

The advertisement against Cunningham is one of 20 similar ones running against politicians in congressional districts across the U.S. AAN said in a press release online that they are part of a $7 million campaign to oppose impeachment.

On its website, AAN describes itself as having center-right values not controlled by a particular party or candidate. The group’s issues are listed as tax reform, the opioid crisis, healthcare, defense and energy. Tax returns show the group took in $41 million in 2017 and spent $21 million lobbying.

Cunningham’s campaign Consultant Tyler Jones told us in a statement, “National dark money groups can spend all the money they want lying about Joe’s record, but the fact remains that Joe is withholding judgment on whether the President should be impeached until hearing all the evidence.”

Jones continued, “If you want to know what Joe is focused on in Congress, look no further than his record. Not only has he passed his landmark bill to ban offshore drilling off South Carolina’s coast, but just last week he passed two bills to help Lowcountry veterans."

He also said that Cunningham, "didn’t go to Congress to impeach the President, but he didn’t go to Congress to protect him either. The president has been accused of bribery by members of his own administration and to ignore those allegations would be a dereliction of duty.”

Meanwhile, six republicans have now filed to run against Cunningham: Michael Covert, Kathy Landing, Nancy Mace, Chris Cox, Phillip Norris and Brad Mole.

Click through this gallery to meet the six Republicans currently running against Cunningham. They appear in order of their candidacy filing date with the Federal Election Commission.

Cunningham currently has more cash on hand than all of them combined at about $1.3 million, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The filing deadline for candidates is March 30, 2020.

South Carolina’s primary election to narrow down those Republican candidates will be June 9 next year.

The big election is November 3, 2020.

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