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PA-12: Centrist Group Targets Summer Lee in TV Ad

Rep. Summer Lee

The road continues to be bumpy for Rep. Summer Lee (D-12).

The progressive Pittsburgh-area representative is now the target of a television ad by a political action committee, accusing her of having an “extreme socialist agenda.”

The Moderate PAC, an organization of centrist Democrats, hopes to defend a handful of Democratic lawmakers – as well as open-seat candidates – in 2024 primary fights with progressives. It plans to raise $20 million in hopes of scaring off progressive groups such as the Justice Democrats from targeting moderates.

The group is backing Edgewood Borough Councilwoman Bhavini Patel in her quest for the Democratic nomination against Lee with the ad that is supported by a $270,000 buy, according to president Ty Strong.

The PAC is the first outside group to spend on the airwaves in the PA-12 race. Earlier this week, Patel unveiled her first television ad that attacked Lee for wanting to “dismantle the Democratic Party, undermine Joe Biden and abolish the police.”

The ads will appear next week on Pittsburgh outlets WPXI, KDKA and WPGH.

Although Lee is not yet on the air, it is expected that she will soon with her war chest of $1,171M entering 2024.

Lee, as well as other members of ‘The Squad,” have been facing heat from groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has vowed to drop $100 million this cycle to oust progressives for their support for Palestinians amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Whether The Moderate PAC can have an impact remains to be seen, as the group had less than $200 on hand entering the calendar year. Pennsylvania megadonor Jeffrey Yass donated $1,000,000 in the summer of 2022 and may yet put his thumb on the scale.

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