An unexpected primary challenger recently arose against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
Mark Lombardo, a former FedEx Executive and Marine combat veteran, announced a self-funded primary challenge to Gaetz to represent the Sunshine State’s 1st Congressional District.
Fox News had the details:
Speaking to Fox News Digital in an interview on Tuesday, Mark Lombardo, who flew CH-46 helicopters in Vietnam and is a former FedEx executive and pilot, described his vision for the district and his mission to defeat Gaetz, who he said has made some “terrible choices,” and to “serve the good, hardworking people of Northwest Florida.”
“Matt Gaetz is completely ineffective as a congressman,” Lombardo said, pointing to Gaetz’s record. “Think about this: He has missed 200 votes in five and a half years, collecting a six-figure salary. Think about that. If you missed 200 days of work collecting a high, six-figure salary, I know exactly what your boss would do to you.”
Discussing infrastructure issues and the loss of jobs for residents in the 1st District, Lombardo said Gaetz is “no place to be found.”
“I’m certainly willing to put myself out there and put my money where my mouth is to represent… and serve the people of Northwest Florida,” he said, adding that his military experience has taught him to put other people’s interests ahead of his own.
Lombardo has pledged to spend up to $1 million to defeat Gaetz in a GOP primary race in late August.
But as The Gateway Pundit noted, Lombardo has partnered with a Lincoln Project associate to spend thousands of dollars on anti-Gaetz ads on the air.
Mark Lombardo used media-buying firm SRH media, per this report. SRH media is run by Steve Hazelton who worked with The Lincoln Project.
— Peter Schorsch (@PeterSchorschFL) June 18, 2022
From Open Secrets:
Still, Federal Election Commission filings don’t tell the whole story about The Lincoln Project’s spending. The group buys its television ads through a little-known Maryland firm called Ashton Media, according to OpenSecrets political ads database, but doesn’t disclose paying that firm in FEC filings.
Another firm, Howe Creative, appears to produce some of The Lincoln Project’s ads, but also isn’t listed as being paid by the super PAC. This suggests that Galen and Steslow’s companies are likely paying these firms as subcontractors. This process is also used by the Trump campaign to hide the specifics of its spending.
Ashton Media was incorporated in March 2019 by Republican ad buyer Steve Hazleton, according to Maryland state records. Hazleton’s firm, SRH Media, was paid by two Republican committees this cycle, including former White House physician Ronny Jackson’s unsuccessful House campaign in Texas. Howe Creative most recently purchased ads for a super PAC supporting Democrat Dan McCready in last year’s expensive special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.
John Weaver, co-founder of the anti-Trump RINO group, was accused by 21 young men of online harassment back in January 2021.
What does this connection to the Lincoln Project tell us about Mark Lombardo?