Buttigieg PAC to back down-ballot Democrats in 2022 midterms

Pete Buttigieg’s mostly dormant Win the Era PAC is jolting back to life four months ahead of crucial midterm elections.

The PAC — which has $1.6 million in the bank but has not been actively raising money — will throw its support behind a slate of state and federal candidates chosen for their youth and diversity, according to a source close to Win the Era.

“Win the Era plans to endorse several dozen candidates this cycle, lending the support of our email list and grassroots community to key races across the country,” the source close to Win the Era told POLITICO. “There will be a particular focus on raising awareness for an emerging generation of bold and diverse leaders down-ballot, who will be on the frontlines of protecting our democracy for decades to come.”

Since being nominated as President Joe Biden’s transportation secretary in 2020, Buttigieg has had no close affiliation with the PAC, sources close to Buttigieg told POLITICO.

A copy of the draft endorsement email obtained by POLITICO mentions last week’s landmark decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to toss out a half-century of settled law and take away a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions is devastating – and leaves us all even more vulnerable to what this far-right court may do next in pursuit of their extreme agenda,” the email reads. “The truth is, there is no one answer to how we get through this. It will take all of us, showing up in ways large and small, to make sure we elect leaders at every level of government who actually represent the will of the people and can deliver the future we know is possible.”

The first wave of endorsements includes three U.S. House candidates, two statehouse incumbents, and a gubernatorial hopeful. They are hailed as “Barrier Breakers” who represent the new faces of a younger and more diverse generation of candidates: Navy veteran Kermit Jones in California’s 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Lauren Underwood in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, Rep. Sharice Davids in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District; and Florida State Sen. Shevrin Jones in the Florida Senate and Nevada Assemblymember Sandra Jauregui.

The list also features Ohio gubernatorial candidate and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who is running against Republican incumbent Mike Dewine. She is a long-time Buttigieg ally, having endorsed his presidential campaign and delivered remarks at his April 2019 campaign launch in South Bend, Ind.

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of Win the Era and to be listed as a Barrier Breaker candidate,” Whaley said in a prepared statement obtained by POLITICO. “Ohio deserves a governor with a bold vision for our state — where one good job is enough to provide for you and your family and where you don’t have to move away from opportunity.”

Buttigieg launched the PAC and nonprofit issue advocacy group in April 2020 after his unsuccessful presidential campaign. Last year, Win the Era pivoted to focus on issues advanced by the Biden-Harris administration, such as climate change, economic justice, democracy reform, mental health and national service. Maxwell Nunes, the former digital director of Win the Era, is the outfit’s executive director. Swati Mylavarapu, the former national investment chair for Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, chairs its board.

Buttigieg stepped down from the group following his nomination and subsequent confirmation as secretary of transportation.


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