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Massachusetts pols turn their attention — and fundraising efforts — to Georgia’s Senate runoffs

Boston Herald logo Boston Herald 2 days ago Lisa Kashinsky
Ed Markey wearing a suit and tie: JAMAICA PLAIN, MA. - SEPTEMBER 18: Senator Ed Markey speaks at the Boston Teachers Union Pilot School on September 18, 2020 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.  (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/ MediaNews Group/Boston Herald) © Provided by Boston Herald JAMAICA PLAIN, MA. - SEPTEMBER 18: Senator Ed Markey speaks at the Boston Teachers Union Pilot School on September 18, 2020 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/ MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

“We know all eyes are on Georgia now.”

“All about Georgia.”

“It all comes down to Georgia.”

Republican or Democrat, one thing is clear from email subject lines these days — Massachusetts pols have Georgia on their minds.

With their races over and done with at home, Bay State politicians and activists are turning their attention — and their fundraising machines — to the pair of increasingly expensive Peach State runoff elections in January that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.

Republicans currently hold a 50-48 majority, meaning the Dems would need to win both Georgia seats to balance the scales and give Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote for a razor-thin majority in the upper chamber.

No sooner had the runoffs been declared in Georgia — Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are again facing Democratic challengers the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively — that the emails soliciting donations began flooding into inboxes in Massachusetts and across the country.

“Republicans are going to try to buy this Senate seat in Georgia,” freshly re-elected U.S. Sen. Edward Markey wrote in one missive asking supporters to split donations between his campaign and Warnock’s. “There is no path to progressive policies so long as Mitch McConnell is in charge of the Senate, and Georgia is our only chance at ending his reign now.”

Markey and Warnock endorsed each other in August, and the Massachusetts Democrat soon expanded his fundraising efforts to include Ossoff as well.

“We have plugged the unstoppable ‘Markeyverse’ into the Georgia runoff,” Markey’s campaign manager and soon-to-be chief of staff John Walsh said of the online youth movement that helped propel the senator to re-election. “We look forward to continuing our partnership to flip the Senate blue.”

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III — Markey’s former primary challenger — has been raising money through his campaign email list for the candidates and the local organizations running the ground game in Georgia.

Kennedy spokeswoman Emily Kaufman told the Herald the Georgia-centric fundraising emails “are by far and away among the best performing in the history of our whole email program.”

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Former Gov. Deval Patrick this week asked supporters of his TogetherFUND political action committee to join him this Monday for a virtual fundraiser benefiting Ossoff. And newly re-elected Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman Gus Bickford called for volunteers to help in “flipping the Senate.”

Bernadette Lyons, the wife of Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons, made her pitch through the MassGOP email list by warning that if Republicans lose, “Democrats get total control in Washington, there will be nothing we can do to stop them from packing the Supreme Court, implementing the Green New Deal, ending our energy independence, and more.”

“Even if Joe Biden ends up in the White House, we can still keep Nancy Pelosi in check,” Lyons wrote. “But only if we keep our majority in the Senate.”

Money was already flowing from Massachusetts to Georgia even before the Senate races went to runoffs.

Bay State donors poured $251,008 into Warnock’s campaign through the end of September, and $221,783 into Ossoff’s through mid-October, according to the most recent data available from the Federal Election Commission. Massachusetts was the fourth-highest contributor of any state to both Democrats’ campaigns.

Contributions on the Republican side were lower. Massachusetts residents donated $22,650 to Perdue and $5,538 to Loeffler through the end of September.


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