• By The Financial District


The largest US bank lobby group is spending $1 million on television ads to boost Republican Senator David Perdue in a bid to ensure the Senate remains in Republican hands after Georgia election runoffs in January, according to federal filings, Pete Schroeder reported for Reuters.

Perdue, who sits on the Senate Banking Committee and has long been an industry ally, backing lighter banking regulations, is seeking re-election against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. Perdue has refused to debate with Ossoff, who has alleged the Republican senator committed unethical conduct with his stock trading.

The race is one of a pair of Georgia US Senate runoffs on Jan. 5 after no candidate won a majority in the Nov. 3 election. Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler is facing Democrat Raphael Warnock in the other runoff. The contests will determine control of the chamber and are expected to be among the most expensive Senate races in US history.

Overall, the four candidates’ campaigns, as well as an array of party and independent groups, have so far spent nearly $310 million to air ads or to reserve air time before the vote, according to AdImpact, an advertising tracking firm. The campaign launched this week by the American Bankers Association (ABA) marks the single biggest sum the group has spent backing a candidate since it began running independent political ads in 2018, according to federal campaign data. The ABA represents Wall Street banks as well as regional lenders.