Senate Conservatives Fund

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The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) is a United States political action committee (PAC) that supports conservative Republican Party candidates in primaries and general elections. The SCF primarily focuses on supporting United States Senate candidates. The PAC was founded by then-U.S. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina in 2008.


U.S. Senator Jim DeMint founded Senate Conservatives Fund during summer 2008.[1]

In 2010, SCF raised $9.3 million, supporting successful Senate candidates Mike Lee of Utah (who defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Bob Bennett in a Republican primary[2]), Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida,[3] Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania,[3] and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. SCF also supported a number of unsuccessful 2010 candidates, including Sharron Angle in Nevada, Ken Buck in Colorado, Joe Miller in Alaska, John Raese in West Virginia, Dino Rossi in Washington, and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.[4][5]

DeMint left SCF in 2012.[6] SCF, along with its affiliated super PAC, raised $16.5 million during the 2011-2012 election cycle.[7] In 2012, SCF spent more than $8.7 million, endorsing nine Republican U.S. Senate candidates; three of those nine candidates--Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, and Deb Fischer--were elected.[7]

SCF has aligned itself with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and has levied attacks on Senators Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander. In 2013, the fund orchestrated a robocall and direct mail campaign to generate signatures for an anti-Affordable Care Act petition. SCF also endorsed a strategy to defund Obamacare that culminated in the 2013 shutdown of the federal government.[8] Republican Senate leaders have criticized SCF for targeting incumbent Senate Republicans.[8][9]

In the 2013–2014 election cycle, SCF supported Matt Bevin and provided significant funding to Bevin’s Republican primary challenge to then-Senate Minority Leader McConnell in the State of Kentucky.[10] SCF also supported Chris McDaniel of Mississippi in a Republican primary challenge to longtime incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and supported Milton R. Wolf of Kansas in a Republican primary challenge to longtime incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts. Bevin,[11] McDaniel,[12] and Wolf[13] all lost their primary elections. Overall, SCF-endorsed candidates won two of the six Senate races in which SCF invested in 2014; Ben Sasse was elected to the Senate from Nebraska and Joni Ernst was elected to the Senate from Iowa.[14]

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli became president of SCF in 2014.[15]

House Conservatives Project[edit]

In 2013, SCF expanded its focus to include supporting conservative candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives through its House Conservatives Project. SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins stated that part of the impetus for the Project was to "build a farm team for the Senate."[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rosen, James (June 27, 2008). "DeMint goes national in Senate re-election campaign". McClatchy DC.
  2. ^ Catanese, David. "Sen. Bennett loses GOP nomination". POLITICO. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b Lerer, Lisa (September 16, 2010). "Jim DeMint's Path to Power". Businessweek.
  4. ^ Overby, Peter (November 12, 2010). "DeMint Increases Clout By Banking On Conservatives". NPR.
  5. ^ Gonzales, Nathan L. (December 21, 2012). "Group DeMint Founded Has No Plans to Replace the Departing Senator". The Rothenberg Political Report.
  6. ^ "Sen. Jim DeMint to Resign, Take Over Heritage Foundation". 6 December 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Tea Party senator digs in against talk of compromise". USA TODAY. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  8. ^ a b Palmer, Anna; Raju, Manu (September 29, 2013). "Senate Conservatives Fund roils GOP". Politico.
  9. ^ Joseph, Cameron (October 1, 2013). "Senate Conservatives Fund launches ads against Democrats on shutdown". The Hill.
  10. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (3 January 2014). "SCF invests nearly $1 million in McConnell primary challenger". TheHill. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  11. ^ "KY Sen: McConnell Beats Bevin". The Weekly Standard. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  12. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (25 June 2014). "Cochran Holds Off Tea Party Challenger in Mississippi". Retrieved 16 January 2019 – via
  13. ^ "Sen. Pat Roberts beats tea party challenger Milton Wolf". MSNBC. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Levinson, Alexis; Levinson, Alexis (11 June 2014). "Ken Cuccinelli Takes Helm of Senate Conservatives Fund". Retrieved 16 January 2019 – via
  16. ^ Strauss, Daniel (September 17, 2013). "Powerful Senate Conservatives Fund Expands To Focus On House Races". Talking Points Memo.

External links[edit]