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Posted under: Politics News
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When it comes to political elections in the U.S., it’s safe to say, “cash rules everything around me.” You definitely need hella dollar bills to win.

In 2016, those running for federal offices spent around 6.8 billion dollars trying to get their candidates elected. Wondering where all that money came from? Well, it’s a mix between small and large individual donors and political action committees (PACs).

As the midterm elections approach us, it’s important to know who's funding our elections, and which PACs are working to get Black candidates in office.


But first, what is a PAC?

PACs are political organizations that focus on finding and providing funding to political campaigns. They can be used to either support or go against a ballot initiative or a candidate. For example, if there is a ballot initiative that a PAC does not want to win on election day, they can use money to support an opposing initiative or run ads that go against the ballot initiative. This same approach can be used for electoral races.


OK, so how do PACs get their funding?

PACs are funded by individual donations. PACs often host private events where donors can pay to get access to a candidate or other powerful political players. With the ruling of Citizen United in 2010, the Supreme Court expanded what qualifies to be considered an “individual.” This expansion has allowed corporations to have more of a financial influence in our political campaigns.

After President Trump was elected into office in 2016, we’ve seen more political organizations with a focused on electing Black candidates into office. And with the 2018 midterm election less than two months away, the rules are clear — if we want Black candidates in office, then we need political groups that are going to fund and support them.

Here is a list of PACs that doing just that:  

The Collective PAC:

Founded in 2016 by Quentin James and Stefanie Brown James, The Collective PAC is “working to fix the challenge of African American underrepresentation in elected seats of power throughout our nation.”

These are some of the candidates listed on their site:

  • Aaron Ford for deputy attorney general for the state of Nevada
  • Andrew Gillum for governor for the state of Florida
  • Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia
  • Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts, Congressional District 7
  • Ben Jealous for governor of Maryland
  • Anita Earls, North Carolina, Supreme Court
  • Juliana Stratton for lieutenant governor of Illinois
  • Keith Ellison for attorney general of Minnesota
  • Kwame Raoul for attorney general of Illinois
  • Mandela Barnes for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin
  • Melvin Whittenberg for secretary of state of South Carolina
  • Sean Shaw for attorney general of Florida
  • Letitia James attorney general of New York

Higher Heights for America:

Founded by Glynda Carr and Kimberly Peeler-Allen in 2014, Higher Heights for America PAC is “galvanizing the collective political power of our members to help elect more Black women to public office at all levels.”

These are the Black candidates they are claiming to endorse:

  • Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia
  • Juliana Stratton for lieutenant governor of Illinois
  • Deidre Dejear for secretary of state of Iowa
  • Letitia James attorney general of New York
  • DD Abrams, North Carolina, Congressional District 5
  • Linda Coleman, North Carolina, Congressional District 2
  • Johana Haye, Connecticut, Congressional District 5
  • Lucy McBath, Georgia, Congressional District 6
  • Ilhan Omar, Minnesota,Congressional District 5
  • Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts, Congressional District 7
  • Stephany Rose Spaulding, Colorado, Congressional District 5
  • Lauren Underwood, Illinois, Congressional District 14

The Black Economic Alliance (BE Alliance)

Founded by Akunna Cook in 2018, this new PAC was formed by Black executives across the country that shared an interest in “improving economic areas in work, wages and wealth.” Co-founder and CEO of Blavity Morgan DeBaun is on the advisory board.

The candidates that BE Alliance have identified that they have endorsed on their site are:  

  • Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia
  • Colin Allred, Texas, Congressional District 32
  • Antonio Delgado, New York, Congressional District 19
  • Mike Espy for senator of Mississippi
  • Steven Horsford, Nevada, Congressional District 4
  • Ben Jealous for governor of Maryland
  • Lauren Underwood, Illinois, Congressional District 14

Color of Change PAC

Color Of Change PAC is the political action arm of Color of Change organization. It was founded by Arisha Michelle-Hatch and Rashad Robinson, the spokesperson for the PAC, in 2016. Color of Change PAC focuses on “building independent Black political power, amplifying Black voices, electing candidates who share our values and holding them accountable to our communities.”

These are some of the candidates that they have endorsed:

  • Garlin Gilchrist for lieutenant governor of Michigan
  • Andrew Gillum for governor for the state of Florida
  • Keith Ellison for attorney general of Minnesota
  • Ilhan Omar, Minnesota, Congressional District 5

These are just a few of the PACs working toward getting Black candidates elected. So if you're planning on voting this election cycle, find out which PACs are supporting the candidates and ballot initiatives you care about in your state. 

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