After pumping more than $1 million into an upstate New York House race to elect the Conservative Party’s Doug Hoffman, the Club for Growth is on the hunt again.
Chris Chocola, president of the conservative political action committee, made it clear the PAC is looking for more GOP targets who don’t embrace the Club’s limited-government approach.
Priority No. 1 is likely to be the Senate contest in Florida, where Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who embraced President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, is being challenged by former State House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Chocola said the Club will jump in “where there is a viable candidate and a stark contrast.”
“It’s no secret we like Rubio a lot and we have great concerns about Crist,” he said, adding that a decision will come in “no more than weeks.”
Beyond Florida, other establishment Republicans may be looking over their shoulders. Chocola, a former House Republican from Indiana, noted that he served with Rep. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and former Rep. Rob Simmons (R., Conn.), both running for the Senate.
“They’re both good guys, but they don’t fit the bill as Club for Growth candidates,” he said.
Before his organization decides to jump in, however, he said the group has to see how those races develop, and whether a clear “Club” alternative surfaces.
“The best Kirk and Simmons can expect is that we leave them alone,” Chocola said.