Democrat Jaime Harrison, who ran against Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in South Carolina and lost in the most expensive defeat in U.S. Senate race history, announced Tuesday the launch of a political action committee (PAC) aimed at boosting Democrats in Georgia’s Senate runoff election.
Harrison, who has also been floated as the next Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, announced the launch of Dirt Road PAC Monday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Harrison said he first plans to raise money for Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who are challenging Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Georgia’s high-profile Senate runoff races on January 5:
The new fundraising effort comes on the heels of Harrison outspending any Senate candidate in U.S. history, at $104.1 million, in an attempt to oust Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Graham. Harrison lost to Graham by a definitive margin of ten points.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day; South Carolina won’t flip overnight, but if you sustain the investment in these communities, we’ll see the change that is so necessary and so needed,” Harrison said on MSNBC as he rationalized his continued pursuit of political donations.
Host Joe Scarborough praised Harrison’s Senate bid and questioned if South Carolina was “just a state that Democrats aren’t going to be able to win for a very long time”:
You had so many advantages in this race. You had all the money any candidate could ever dream of having. You ran what most thought was a very effective race against an ineffective opponent, who at times seemed desperate, seemed whiney, had broken his promise to South Carolina voters time and time again … and yet Lindsey Graham won the race handily. Is South Carolina just a state that Democrats aren’t going to be able to win for a very long time?
Harrison responded by emphasizing that flipping red areas to blue requires a “long-term and sustained approach.”
Harrison’s PAC launch is one of several Democrat fundraising endeavors zoned in on the consequential Georgia runoff races, which will determine which party next controls the Senate majority. Activist Stacey Abrams, who dropped $10 million at the start of the runoffs through her organization Fair Fight, announced Saturday that Fair Fight will pump $2.7 million into smaller groups intending to strengthen their “get-out-the-vote apparatus.”
Other big names stepping in for the runoffs include Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), and “Squad” leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
As for Harrison’s PAC, beyond Georgia, the South Carolina Democrat intends to direct funds toward Virginia’s 2021 elections, voter registration efforts, and the 2022 midterm elections.
Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected].