Until now, the ad war in the hotly contested campaign in Arizona's Congressional District 1 has featured familiar players: The two candidates' campaigns, and their parties' campaign committees.
Now CD1 has entered the Super PAC era. The House Majority PAC, a Super PAC that tries to get Democrats elected to the House of Representatives, has spent $320,000 on an ad criticizing Republican candidate Jonathan Paton.
It extends a familiar charge — that Paton worked as a lobbyist for the payday loan industry — and features neon-style lettering that recalls the signs on many payday-loan stores.
The House Majority PAC is airing the spot for a week in the Phoenix market, spokesman Andy Stone said.
The vast congressional district covers 55,000 square miles, about half the state, and goes from Marana to the New Mexico border, north to the Utah border, across Flagstaff and the Colorado Strip to near Kingman. It includes parts of three different local TV markets — Tucson, Albuquerque and Phoenix.
Paton's campaign has said he did not lobby lawmakers on behalf of the industry, though he did work for the industry's trade group and write an opinion in favor of a 2008 ballot measure that would have let the industry survive under tighter laws. That measure lost.