Planned Parenthood boosts Casten campaign with $400K ad buy

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6th District Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam (l) Democrat (r) Sean Casten | Sun-Times photos

Planned Parenthood on Thursday plans to announce a six-figure ad buy to help bolster Democrat Sean Casten’s campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., in an effort to help Democrats win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives this fall.

Planned Parenthood Votes, the organization’s federal PAC will spend about $400,000 to reach out to more than 110,000 voters on behalf of Casten, a political newcomer and former clean energy businessman.

The plan, they say, is to educate voters about Roskam’s record on women’s health. “It’s more important than ever to flip the House to a pro-reproductive health majority,”Planned Parenthood Votes said.

There’s a deep push to turn the seat blue, and the race is being watched closely. Roskam has held the post since 2007, and his campaign says they believe voters will stick with the congressman, whom they called an “effective leader” and rated one of the most bipartisan members of Congress.

The buy will include digital ads and mailers to begin Thursday through Election Day, which will be focused on “educating these voters about Roskam’s votes to ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood, repeal the Affordable Care Act and his desire to ban abortion.”

Planned Parenthood is hoping to bank on the support of suburban women who support abortion rights, many of whom feel at risk in light of the U.S. Supreme Court fight. Planned Parenthood endorsed Casten after the March primary.

“The threat to our health and rights is not hypothetical, it’s real,” Brigid Leahy, a policy director for Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, said in a statement. “With [Judge Brett] Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, our constitutional rights, including access to abortion, are at risk. And GOP leaders are already promising to bring back attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act if they win majorities in the House.”

The Sun-Times on Wednesday reported that for the first time Roskam is under water, according to a poll commissioned by the Democrat’s campaign.

The poll, conducted by the Garin Hart Yang Research Group, found Casten ahead 47 to 44 percent, but within the margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. Nine percent of those polled were undecided. The poll was taken Sept. 8-10 of 402 likely voters in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, which covers suburbs in Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry and DuPage counties.

Roskam has fundraising prowess as an incumbent; he had about $2.3 million cash on hand at the end of June, Federal Election Commission reports show. He has spent $2.2 million. For that same time period, Casten had raised about $791,000 and and had $646,749 cash on hand.

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