The Washington Post

Chamber of Commerce hits airwaves for Kingston and Tillis as May primaries approach

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hitting the airwaves in Georgia and North Carolina on behalf of Republicans Thom Tillis and Jack Kingston, who will go before voters in contested Senate primaries next month.

The North Carolina ad splits time between casting Sen. Kay Hagan (D) as a Washington insider and praising Tillis, the state House speaker, who the narrator says will "fight Washington instead of joining them."

The Republican primary is on Tuesday. If Tillis does not clear 40 percent, he will have to endure a runoff. The Chamber is spending about $480,000 in the Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro and Charlotte markets, according to a review of ad-buy data.

The Georgia ad portrays Kingston, a U.S. House member, as a "consistent conservative" committed to jobs and the economy. It comes less than a month before the May 20 primary. Most observers believe that no Republican in the crowded race will clear the 50 percent mark needed to avoid a runoff and that the top two will advance to the next round.

The Chamber released its new ads alongside four others. Most of the spots are positive.

It is launching purely positive commercials on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land in Michigan and GOP Senate contender Steve Daines in Montana.

In Alaska, the Chamber's new ad hits Sen. Mark Begich (D) and touts Republican Dan Sullivan. In a spot airing in North Carolina's 7th District, the Chamber goes hard negative against Republican Woody White. The anti-White ad includes an image of former senator John Edwards, who, like White, is a trial lawyer. White faces a contested primary in an open seat that is one of the GOP's best pickup opportunities.

In Alaska, the Chamber is spending about $30,000 in the Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage markets. In Michigan, it's spending about 185,000 in the Grand Rapids and Detroit markets. In North Carolina's 7th District, it is spending  $187,000 in the Raleigh-Durham and Wilmington markets.

Reid Wilson contributed to this post

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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