A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Ditch Fund


Political leanings: Democratic/Anti-Mitch McConnell

2018 total spending: $21,870

Ditch Fund describes itself as a “grassroots-funded” PAC that is “solely dedicated” to defeating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “once and for all in 2020.” Its website also refers to the group as “Ditch Mitch.”

Ditch Fund is a so-called Carey committee — a hybrid PAC that operates both as a traditional PAC, meaning it can raise and contribute funds, subject to statutory limits, directly to a candidate’s campaign, and as a super PAC, which allows it to separately raise unlimited amounts of money and advocate for the election or defeat of a specific candidate or candidates.

It is run by Ryan Aquilina, the executive director. Aquilina is a Democratic campaign and fundraising veteran who had been vice president of Anne Lewis Strategies.

The PAC formed in October 2018, and raised and spent relatively small amounts in the 2018 cycle. It raised $129,725 and spent $14,641 in independent expenditures against McConnell in 2018. The Kentucky Republican has served six terms in the U.S. Senate and is up for reelection in 2020.

As of April 29, the PAC had raised $7.6 million and spent $3.8 million for the 2020 campaign. The PAC reported spending $2 million on independent expenditures, the Federal Election Commission’s term for funds spent to advocate for or against specific candidates.

The PAC has spent $1.9 million against McConnell and $147,000 to support Amy McGrath, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel who is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge McConnell. (The primary has been delayed until June 23, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.)