GOP-backed super PAC celebrates $400K win in Laurie Buckhout

The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) is celebrating retired U.S. Army Colonel Laurie Buckhout’s victory in the GOP Primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.

CLF is the super PAC endorsed by U.S. House Republican leadership. It spent nearly $400,000 on television, mail and radio advertising supporting Buckhout’s campaign.

“Congratulations to retired Army Colonel Laurie Buckhout on her hard-fought victory in (Tuesday night’s) Primary,” said CLF President Dan Conston. “CLF is proud to have significantly supported her from the start. Laurie’s victory makes this race a top pickup opportunity for Republicans, and we look forward to ensuring she makes Don Davis a one-term congressman and flips this seat red in November.”

Buckhout, who is the founder of a consulting firm, won over Sandy Smith with 53.5% of the vote. She’ll face Davis, the incumbent Democrat, in the November General Election.

Smith previously ran with GOP backing for the seat in 2020 and 2022.

The General Election will be a close race. The district is now in toss-up territory after the Republican-controlled Legislature approved new congressional maps, which make the district more competitive. Prior to the new lines, it had not elected a Republican in more than 100 years, though lines have changed considerable over the decades, according to The Hill.

Davis is completing his first term in office. He succeeded retired U.S. Rep. GK Butterfield, who represented the district for nearly two decades before stepping down in 2022.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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