The first significant ad buy for state Sen. Erica Smith, a Democratic candidate for US Senate in North Carolina, appears to be backed by Republicans…

The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, who may prefer to run against Smith. Her campaign had on hand less than $100,000 at the end of 2019. Cunningham’s campaign, meanwhile, had more than $1.7 million.

The media buyer, Neylan and Partners, has worked on behalf of Republican campaigns before, including a super PAC supporting Carly Fiorina’s 2016 presidential campaign as well as Americans for Tax Reform. Neylan and Partners did not immediately respond to a phone call for comment.