Hegseth gets a pre-convention boost from national Super PAC

A new super PAC will be helping potential Republican candidate Pete Hegseth in the lead-up to the Republican nominating convention next week.

Reclaiming Freedom was launched this week and is aimed at taking back the U.S. Senate for Republicans.

“We’re choosing states that we believe can be flipped from blue to red,” said Brian Wise, founder of the political action committee. “And Minnesota, with Pete Hegseth as the nominee, is one of those states. With anybody else as the nominee, the GOP doesn’t have a chance.”

Reclaiming Freedom has endorsed only one other candidate. Its decision to back Hegseth came early because the state’s Republican nominating convention is coming up so soon, Wise said.

Hegseth’s prospects for winning the GOP endorsement to challenge DFL incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar have been complicated by the fact that Ron Paul has endorsed Hegseth’s opponent, Rep. Kurt Bills. Paul’s supporters are expected to make a strong showing at the convention.

So over the next week or so, Wise said Reclaiming Freedom will be focusing on this message: “A vote by any of the delegates at the state convention for Kurt Bills is a vote for Amy Klobuchar,” Wise said.

Wise wouldn’t say exactly what the group’s strategy will be, but noted that it will be “aggressively engaging in Minnesota over the next two weeks.”

Wise said Reclaiming Freedom won’t be relying only on advertising; the group will be using polling, grassroots campaigns and direct mail as well.

Hegseth and Wise have a personal history. Wise was a senior adviser to Vets for Freedom while Hegseth served as the group’s executive director. Wise says the two have been friends and colleagues for a number of years.

Wise said Hegseth did not know Reclaiming Freedom would be helping him out because campaign finance law prevent super PACs from coordinating with the candidates they are supporting.

Reclaiming Freedom hopes to raise $10 million throughout the entire election season, and spread that cash between five-to-seven races throughout the country, Wise said.

Wise wouldn’t disclose how much money the group has raised so far or who its donors are, but said that contributors will likely announce their support before the next federal campaign finance filing deadline.

“We’re not planning on trying to hide any of our donors,” Wise said.