Republican Jewish Coalition Aiding Bid To Unseat North Carolina’s Jones

The Republican Jewish Coalition, Rep. Aaron Schock and former Commerce Secretary Donald Evans are among the newest donors to Taylor Griffin’s bid to unseat Republican Rep. Walter Jones in a North Carolina primary next month.

Griffin, a former Treasury Department aide in George W. Bush’s White House, raised $31,675 from April 1-16, his campaign said in a filing today to the Federal Election Commission. Jones, who’s seeking an 11th term in the May 6 primary, raised $52,799 during the 16-day period. The congressman had $78,776 in the bank compared with $34,325 for Griffin, a first-time political candidate.

RJC’s political action committee sent $5,000 to Griffin’s campaign on April 2, the FEC report shows. Griffin previously received donations from prominent Jewish Republican donors including Sam Fox, Mel Sembler and billionaire Paul Singer.

California real-estate executive Ronald H. Bloom and Nevada venture-capital firm chairman Victor Chaltiel, who sit on RJC’s board of directors, donated to Griffin’s campaign this month, FEC reports show.

Emergency Committee for Israel, a Republican pro-Israel group aligned with William Kristol and Gary Bauer, has paid for ads attacking Jones for voting against a bill to impose enhanced economic sanctions on Iran. Jones’s backers include J Street, a Jewish advocacy group that calls itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace.”

Schock, who represents a district in Illinois, donated $5,000 to Griffin’s campaign through his leadership PAC, GOP Generation Y Fund, which aids young Republican candidates. (Griffin is 38 and Jones is 71.) Still, it’s rare for a House member to make a political donation against a colleague in a primary.

Evans, who was Bush’s commerce secretary from 2001 to 2005, sent $100 to Griffin’s campaign, bringing his total support to $2,600. Evans’s wife gave $2,600, the maximum amount that an individual donor can give to a candidate for a primary.

Jones’s donors this month include Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the former Judiciary Committee chairman who donated through his campaign committee.

Jones and Griffin are seeking North Carolina’s 3rd District, a Republican-leaning coastal area that stretches from the Virginia border south to Wilmington.

Bloomberg News profiled the Jones-Griffin race in February. Peter Hamby of CNN and Paul Blumenthal of The Huffington Post have profiles of the primary this week that are also worth reading.


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