Democrats are preparing a massive push for African-American candidates in the upcoming midterm elections, Politico reports.
"There have been historical challenges with candidates of color receiving support from institutions, both the party and progressive groups. The history’s there," Quentin James, co-founder of Collective PAC, which supports African-American candidates, told Politico. "There’s a challenge there of, I’m calling it imagination, but some call it viability. ‘Can the black candidate win?" "Can the Latino candidate win?'"
Organizers hope that a large number of black candidates will boost African-American turnout in November, but minority candidates still face difficulty in winning support, as former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile pointed out at a Collective PAC fundraiser.
"The fact that you are going to support, raise money, try to build a bench, and put more people in the pipeline to run for governor and lieutenant governor — you’re going to get in trouble,” Brazile said, according to Politico. Former President "Barack Obama, when he first ran for United States Senate — we got in trouble because we raised money for him."
Collective PAC has identified gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Andrew Gillum of Florida as particularly strong contenders, along with Senate candidate Mike Epsy of Mississippi, and House of Representatives candidates Lauren Underwood of Illinois and Colin Allred of Texas.
"I’ve talked to a lot of my fellow African-American candidates around the country and we all have the same feeling that it’s probably harder for us, initially, to get off the ground with fundraising," said Allred, who won nearly 40 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary despite initially trailing his opponents in funds.
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