Bice, who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association, began the runoff campaign with attack ads questioning Neese’s commitment to gun rights. In another recent ad, she argues that she is the candidate best positioned to beat a Democrat.
But those messages had to compete with a flood of negative ads from the anti-tax Club for Growth, which endorsed Neese after the primary but had already been paying for ads attacking Bice for months.
The group spent $960,000 opposing Bice, including in a TV ad in the run-up to the primary that linked her to “convicted rapist and Democrat donor” Harvey Weinstein because of her vote for a film tax credit. Recently, the group put out an ad claiming that Bice had voted to raise her own legislative salary “while Oklahomans were losing jobs because of COVID-19.” That claim has been refuted by local media, and Bice said the club had ignored a request from her campaign to take down the ad.
And the spending on Bice’s behalf hasn’t always worked in her favor. She got $92,000 in support from the American Jobs and Growth PAC, which circulated flyers falsely claiming she had been endorsed by the anti-abortion Oklahomans for Life, creating an opening for Neese, who has accused her of lying about that endorsement and another from Vice President Mike Pence.
Other outside groups spending on the race include the Future Leaders Fund, which spent $16,000 supporting Bice. Conservative Outsider PAC and Freedomworks for America spent $34,000 and $2,500 respectively on Neese’s behalf.