COLUMBIA – Jaime Harrison is not finished yet.
Just three weeks after his defeat in the South Carolina U.S. Senate race against Republican-run Lindsey Graham, the former SC Democratic Party president on Tuesday announced the formation of a new political action committee to help Democrats win a final election pair victory in neighboring Georgia. . .
The creation of the “Dirt Road PAC” comes when Harrison became the next chairman of the Democratic Democratic Committee, and it became the job he had been looking for once in 2017, and therefore the upcoming administration will play a critical role in overseeing the party apparatus.
Harrison said in a post-election interview with The Post and Courier since losing the Senate race that he wants to create the PAC to build on the enthusiasm he was able to become the best-funded U.S. across the country. Senate candidate in American history.
“I think part of our problem is the idea that you can choose a cycle and choose a candidate, and then suddenly we expect that immediate gratification and immediate change,” Harrison said. “But in areas that have historically been left out and neglected, it takes a lot more time to really make a difference.”
The PAC is named after a story Harrison often told on the campaign trail about a South Carolinaer he had spoken to in the previous election cycle, and whom he saw Republicans and Democrats knocking on several occasions over the years to ask for his vote. over the years. straighten the dirt road in front of your house, the case that interested you the most.
Harrison said he has already raised more than $ 450,000 for Democratic candidates in two U.S. Senate elections on Jan. 5. Jon Ossoff challenges Republican-appointed David Perdue, while Raphael Warnock seeks Republican-appointed Kelly Loeffler.
The Dirt Road PAC is trying to complement this by raising resources from Ossoff, Warnock and the Democratic Party of Georgia. Harrison said he is also preparing to raise donations for the Georgian party.
With Republicans currently occupying 50 Senate seats in the Democrat’s 48th place, the results of the Georgian run-down determine the majority control of the U.S. Senate. If the Democrats win both, the elected vice president, Kamala Harris, will be the tie to get the majority of the Democrats, but if the Republicans win at least one, they will maintain control over the chamber.
Graham and other South Carolina Republicans, including U.S. Senator Tim Scott and former Governor Nikki Haley, were active on the other side of the Georgian races, fundraising and campaigning for Loeffler and Perdue.
In an interview with Fox News on Monday night, Graham said he raised $ 3 million for the Georgian runoff, gave one million to each candidate and one million to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Beyond the Georgian run, Harrison said the PAC will participate in post-2021 Virginia competitions and provide extensive assistance to other democratic candidates and parties in the southern, rural states.
“The goal is to invest in those state parties and local parties, to invest in candidates, to help recruit and train candidates, and to do so in the long run,” Harrison said.
Following a 10-point loss to Harrison Graham, some political observers questioned the importance of money in the campaigns. Harrison, however, noted that while he set records by taking more than $ 130 million, Graham raised more than $ 100 million for the rematch, and GOP groups kicked in tens of millions of dollars to help him.
“I don’t want Democrats to think we can disarm with one hand while they (Republicans) bank all these resources,” Harrison said. “We need to have the resources to compete and free people, that’s what I’m going to devote all my energy and efforts to.”
After a few weeks of reflection, Harrison attributed his Senate loss largely to Republican support for President Donald Trump, which he said resulted in more straight-line GOP voters than he expected.
Like Clyburn and other more moderate Democrats, Harrison said “rescuing the police” from more progressive members of the party were slogans “not helpful” to candidates like him who did not support these policies but continued to ruthlessly label them in advertisements. Graham and other Republicans.
“Words have power and we just have to be careful with it,” Harrison said. “I learned one thing during my years in politics when he explains, he loses.”
Harrison’s new PAC could be the launch pad for his next concert. He is widely regarded as the overwhelming favorite of the chairman of the National Democratic Commission, Tom Perez, who wants to resign at the end of his term in February 2021.
As usual, members of the DNC are expected to postpone the election of elected chairman Joe Biden as the party leader in getting to head the committee.
But Harrison has an extremely influential amplifier in the House’s majority whip, Jim Clyburn (D-Columbia), who is Harrison’s longtime mentor and Biden’s close ally. Clyburn owes Biden’s approval, accepted in the days before the South Carolina preselection, to helping Biden achieve the landslide victory that led him toward the Democratic nomination.
Harrison refused to reveal whether he had talked to Biden about the work of the DNC since their last publicly known phone call on election night, all he said was “talking.”
“But I say that if you call my number and say,‘ Jaime Harrison, I want you to be the next DNC president, ’I accept,” Harrison said.
After dropping out of the 2017 DNC competition and approving Perez shortly before the vote, Harrison has now further strengthened his resume by spending several years as one of Perez’s lieutenants and using his well-funded campaign to use tools to help with that. he is now the man for the job.
“I’ve been co-president for the past four years, I’ve been a state party president, working on Capitol Hill, so I personally know a lot of members of Congress and a candidate who has raised a lot of money,” Harrison said.
“So there are a lot of different skills and things that I think I’m bringing that are probably a bit unique in a person, and I’d love to bring those skills on behalf of the party and the president,” he added.