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J Street Launches Swing State Campaign Against Iran Deal Opponents

WASHINGTON — J Street is launching a half million-dollar campaign against two vulnerable Republicans for their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami on Wednesday will release TV spots to screen in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where incumbents Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., are in tight competitive races. A release said the campaign also will include “internet advertising, direct mail and polling.”

The release Monday did not name the states, but an official identified the states as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The group has endorsed Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania and Russ Feingold in Wisconsin.

J Street, a liberal Middle East policy group, spent over $5 million last year in publicity and lobbying in a successful bid to keep Congress from killing the deal, which exchanges sanctions relief for guarantees Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.

In other competitive races, in Ohio and Florida, Republicans who opposed the deal are trumpeting their record on Iran. In Ohio, incumbent Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, has attempted to tie former Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, to the deal.

Iran has become a central foreign policy issue this campaign. In the vice presidential debate Tuesday night, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence repeatedly tussled over whether the Iran nuclear deal stopped Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

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