The National Republican Congressional Committee is canceling all their ad reservations in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, according to CNN’s ad tracker AdImpact, a sign that Republicans are losing faith in J.R. Majewski’s controversial bid to unseat Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur.
The committee had planned to spend over $700,000 on the northwest Ohio race, according to the ad tracker, but cut those reservations just days after The Associated Press reported Majewski had misrepresented his military service. The report appears to have been the final straw for a candidate who was a January 6, 2021, rally participant and has repeatedly shared pro-QAnon material, despite denying he followed the conspiracy theory movement.
Majewski responded to the cancellations during a news conference on Friday, directing reporters to ask the committee about why it cut its planned spending. Majewski also pushed back against the AP reporting that he misrepresented his military service, claiming he “flew into combat zones often, specifically in Afghanistan” and that “anyone insinuating that I did not serve in Afghanistan is lying.”
A spokesman for the NRCC did not respond to a request for comment.
With Democrats’ narrow majority in the House, the race between Majewski and Kaptur is key in this year’s midterm battle for control of the chamber.
Majewski unexpectedly won the newly drawn district’s Republican primary earlier this year, defeating multiple, and more establishment Republicans, in the process. He rose to Republican prominence for his unflinching support of former President Donald Trump, including by painting his front lawn into a 19,000-square-foot Trump 2020 sign. He later appeared in the MAGA rapper Forgiato Blow’s song “Let’s Go Brandon Save America,” by rapping one verse decrying “woke” politics after he launched his campaign.
Majewski has also said that he raised between $20,000 to $25,000 to bring people to Washington around the “Stop the Steal” rally but says they “went there to support the President peacefully.”
Democrats cheered Majewski’s primary win, viewing him as a weaker general election candidate against Kaptur, who has been in office for nearly 40 years and was widely seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country after her district was redrawn to be more Republican.
Kaptur has tried to focus her race on her ties to the area, telling CNN’s Dana Bash that being a midwestern Democrat in a party increasingly run with big city sensibilities on both coasts is a growing challenge for her.
“What coastal people, God bless them, don’t understand, is that we lost our middle class,” Kaptur said. “We lost so many people who’ve worked hard all their lives, including in many of these small towns. I understand that. We feel their pain. We went through it together.”
Trump, who has endorsed Majewski, praised the congressional candidate at a recent rally in Ohio.