The Virginia Cornerstone PAC has been attacking Republican gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Youngkin since before he announced his candidacy for governor. The attacks are mostly anonymous with the funding for the PAC not showing a clear path to any of Youngkin’s opponents. But new attacks in the attorney general race provide a possible connection as to who is behind the PAC’s attacks.
For context, Youngkin has accused his gubernatorial convention opponent Pete Snyder of the anonymous attacks, but Snyder has not claimed credit.
Now the PAC is attacking attorney general candidate Chuck Smith by sending mailers to Republicans in Virginia. “Why is criminal defense attorney Chuck Smith running a negative campaign and falsely attacking his Republican opponents? To hide his record of defending illegal aliens and child predators,” the mailer reads that was paid for by the Virginia Cornerstone PAC.
One of Smith’s convention opponents and the assumed front runner Jason Miyares is using the political consultant group FP1 Strategies, the same group that is running Snyder’s gubernatorial campaign.
Snyder has paid FP1 strategies over $600K from his gubernatorial campaign — Miyares has paid much less but FP1 is the highest-paid political consultant group on his attorney general campaign’s payroll.
The PAC was founded by Chris Jankowski, a Republican strategist with ties to Virginia politics. He has declined in the past having any association with a campaign, but he has not disclosed who originally provided the $170K the PAC has spent on attacks.
FP1 Strategies was also paid more than $200K by Ed Gillespie’s unsuccessful 2017 gubernatorial campaign. Gillespie and Jankowski ran the Republican State Leadership Committee together in 2014 before they both resigned at the same time.
Besides Snyder and Miyares, the only other statewide candidate working with FP1 this cycle is lieutenant governor candidate Tim Hugo.
Calls to Miyares’ campaign have not been returned and attempts to contact Jankowski were not successful.
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