Buttigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates

Buttigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates
© Greg Nash

Former White House hopeful Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Here's how Biden can win over the minority vote and the Rust Belt MORE has launched a new political action committee (PAC) to help down-ballot Democrats as he tries to repurpose the energy he drew around his presidential bid.

The group dubbed “Win the Era,” a nod to a phrase often used during the former mayor's campaign, will raise and distribute funds to Democrats running for office with a focus on lesser-known contenders.

“Our nation and world are in a period of upheaval right now, which will make it more important than ever to support and elect good leaders this November and into the future,” Buttigieg said in an email to supporters.

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“This is not only a question of replacing the current president and doing away with the division and cruelty that have characterized the Trump era, but also ensuring we have strong leaders at every level of government.”

Buttigieg, who himself was a lesser known candidate as the former mayor of South Bend, Ind. only to see a surge of momentum heading into the primaries, teased that his group would be rolling out “a series of endorsements of candidates who we believe embody our values and deserve your consideration.” 

The group will employ a five-part criteria to find candidates who reflect its “values and characteristics” – generational change, representing a diverse cross section of the country, running in a typically conservative area, proposing “meaningful, bold policies” and running “for the right reasons.”

“This is a big part of how we’ll continue the work we started with the campaign, and it’s only possible because of your hard work and our shared vision for the country,” Buttigieg wrote in the email. “I have encountered extraordinary leaders during my time in office and campaigning, and look forward to supporting many of them.” 

The formation of the group comes as the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic sidelines campaigns up and down the ballot, leaving candidates grasping for support as they are forced to scrap in-person events and fundraisers for more digitally-focused campaigning.

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While Buttigieg’s campaign ultimately sputtered out in part due to consistently poor showings among voters of color, his early rise raised eyebrows among Democratic figures and led to speculation that a Cabinet post or down-ballot campaign of his own could be in his political future. 

Regardless, Buttigieg was widely anticipated to remain a Democratic player even after his withdrawal from the presidential race. 

“There is simply too much at stake to retreat to the sidelines now. Together we can build the era that must come next,” reads the PAC’s website. “We need everyone to be a part of this movement.”