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BlackPAC rolls out Senate race endorsements for the first time

BlackPAC rolls out Senate race endorsements for the first time
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BlackPAC on Thursday announced its inaugural batch of Senate race endorsements, as this year’s election cycle enters the home stretch.

The left-leaning political group that focuses on engaging and mobilizing Black voters across the country endorsed Democrats in four Senate races in key battleground states: Sen. Gary PetersGary PetersSenior Biden cyber nominees sail through Senate hearing Colonial Pipeline may use recovered ransomware attack funds to boost cybersecurity OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE (Mich.), Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, and Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Georgia.

“Obviously there's a lot at stake, at every level of our government,” BlackPAC executive director Adrianne Shropshire told The Hill.

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“But for us, the question is, thinking about candidates who hold the priorities that we hold and that our members and supporters hold, that are running in races that we think are going to be important to moving and delivering on solutions to critical issues facing Black communities.”

“We also look at places where we think that Black voters actually have the ability to be decisive in the races,” she added. “So our focus then is making sure that we are mobilizing every voter and making sure that voters understand who the candidates are, making sure that they understand what the issues are, what’s at stake and why we are actually engaged in any given race.”

Working independently of the campaigns it has decided to back, BlackPAC has established “large-scale” canvassing operations in Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia — the states where their endorsed Senate candidates are running.

While its canvassing efforts don’t extend to every state where BlackPAC is supporting a candidate, Shropshire said that the group has invested in paid media, including digital and radio advertising for all of its endorsements.

Michigan and North Carolina are both states that Democrats are hoping to flip blue after President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE won them in 2016. Georgia, a traditionally red state, has become a battleground state this cycle.

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A New York Times/Siena poll this week showed Ossoff in a dead heat with Sen. David Perdue (R), while Warnock — who had a meteoric rise in the polls late in the summer — led Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerHerschel Walker skips Georgia's GOP convention Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 MORE (R) by 9 points and Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGeorgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Poll shows tight GOP primary for Georgia governor The Hill's Morning Report - Census winners and losers; House GOP huddles MORE (R-Ga.) by 15 points. However, since Warnock’s race is a special election, the top two vote-getters will head to a runoff in January if neither receive 50 percent of the vote, which is likely.

Missing from the group’s list is South Carolina Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. Harrison is in a tight race with longtime Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamProgressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema GOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans Lindsey Graham: Dismissal of Wuhan lab leak theory cost Trump 2020 election MORE (R), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Shropshire said that Harrison, who has recently set fundraising records, is in “good hands,” noting the broad Democratic support that he has already received and BlackPAC’s limited resources. The executive director said that the group wanted “to be able to put more behind the endorsement than just the endorsement itself.”

“In a cycle where the field is so wide, we had to make choices about resources and we also know that a lot of our friends and allies are supporting [Harrison] as well,” Shropshire said.