Last week we posited reasons why the DNC should target the senatorial races in Georgia. Here is a link to our story, “Why The DNC Should Target Georgia (https://medium.com/@hmichaelharvey/why-the-dnc-should-target-georgia-db568f4fd236?source=friends_link&sk=0733663b0f00621b8555ef35021508f4)
This week Majority Forward announced plans to team with America Votes for what they describe as a “sustained and integrated mobilization program” in the two senatorial seats up for grabs in the November General Election. Rarely are both senate seats up simultaneously, but this year there is a special election to fill the unexpired term of Johnny Isakson, who resigned at the end of 2019 due to health concerns. Majority Forward, reportedly aligned with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, plans to pour $6 million into two Democratic candidates, Rev. Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff.
According to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, “The program will finance digital, direct mail and radio spots to urge left-leaning voters to devise a voting plan for the November election.”
Majority Forward’s announcement comes as Politico reported the possibility of an evenly divided senate following the General Election. As I discussed last week, this is a real possibility provided the Democrats hold the Doug Jones seat in Alabama and pick up three additional seats. Picking up two Georgia seats will give the senate 50 Republican and 50 Democratic senators. Thus dicey political maneuvering for whoever is elected President.
Senate Democrats with ties to Majority Forward are seizing upon the Georgia senate races because, as I pointed out in the previous article, with a little hard work, Democrats can pick up both senate posts.
Business executive and investigative reporter John Ossoff, winner of the Democratic Primary, is in a tight race with first-term incumbent David Perdue. Ossoff’s television ads have hit Perdue hard on stock sells Perdue made following a January 24, 2020 briefing on the coronavirus.
The ads portray Perdue as a greedy man who went to Washington and lined his pockets with the inside information that he received by his position as a US Senator. A fresh batch of cash could help Ossoff drive this message home and give him a clear victory without a January run-off.
In the race to replace Isakson, there are 21 candidates in a non-partisan special election. Kelly Loeffler, Governor Brian Kemps appointee to the seat, is vying for the Republican vote against Doug Collins, one of President Trump’s House Managers during his impeachment trial.
Both candidates claim they have the support of President Trump. Kemp has endorsed Loeffler. She also has the endorsements of the state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, and Attorney General Chris Carr. In contrast, Collins received approval by the Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.
Provided there is a competitive race between Loeffler and Collins; the door opens for a Democrat to sneak in without a run-off. Out of the Democrats in the race, Majority Forward is putting their money behind Rev. Raphael Warnock, the Senior Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
There are three other viable Democratic candidates in the race, former educator Matt Lieberman and ex-federal prosecutor Ed Tarver. Neither of them has mounted a war chest to rival Warnock. Of the three, only Warnock has aired television ads. He hit the airwaves in August with advertisements that tell of his background growing up in a large Black family in Savannah, Georgia. He does not have to get into a nasty ad fight with Loeffler and Collins. Warnock can set back and watch them knock each other out of the race.
With the infusion of cash from Majority Forward, Warnock can distance himself from the other 19 candidates, which could push him to victory without a run-off should Loeffler and Collins run neck and neck in quest of the Republican vote.
With a bit of luck, picking up the two Georgia seats could be a hedge should Doug Jones fails to win in Alabama. Picking up these two seats makes Georgia worth the financial investment of Senate Democrats.
Harold Michael Harvey is the Living Now 2020 Bronze Medal winner in the category of male memoir for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. An avid public speaker, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.