The general election victories of several state legislators are examples of how independent expenditure campaigns can help support Realtor®-friendly candidates.
Incumbent Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks), a former real estate broker, faced challenger Joseph Frederick (D) in the election, and won with 61.9 percent of the vote. PAR conducted an independent expenditure campaign on behalf of Quinn. As part of the independent expenditure, Keystone Analytics produced five mailers for the campaign and delivered them to targeted voters. In addition, the PA Realtors® Political Action Committee (RPAC) made a separate, direct contribution to her campaign.
“I had a decisive win, which during a presidential election year is substantial,” Quinn said. “I appreciate the support of the Realtors® Political Action Committee. Their targeted mailings helped me get my message out to voters. The mailers stuck to the issues, there were no negative messages and the results were positive. It’s really nice to have the Realtors® working with you!
“My husband and I are both Realtors®. I understand the effect that decisions made on the state level could have on the real estate industry, not just those working in it, but those buying and selling a home,” she said.
While independent expenditures are not a new element to this year’s elections, they have received much media attention as a result of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission, which allowed corporate dollars to be spent on independent expenditure campaigns. Federal regulations dictate how independent expenditures may be conducted and a candidate’s campaign cannot be contacted about initiatives funded through an independent expenditure.
PA-RPAC Trustees determined which legislators were in close races, who could benefit from additional services and who should be the recipients of an independent expenditure based on their support of key home ownership issues in the State House and Senate. The association took advantage of NAR’s new State and Local Independent Expenditure Program and applied for support for each candidate.
Independent expenditures were also conducted for:
- Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill), who won re-election with 56.1 percent of the vote. Keystone produced two mailers which were sent to 15,000 households in the district.
- Rep. Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny), who defeated his opponent with 54.8 percent of the vote. Keystone coordinated four mailers as well as live advocacy calls as part of the campaign.
- Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh) won a closely-contested race against his opponent Kevin Deely (D) by a 562 vote margin. Keystone targeted voters with four mailers and live advocacy calls.
- Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), who was victorious with 59.6 percent of the vote. Keystone hit voters with four mailers and live advocacy phone calls.
An independent expenditure was also conducted for Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin), also a Realtor®, in the primary election.