“The difference between a working democracy and a pending constitutional crisis is who wins those seats,” said Hari Sevugan, an iVote board member who in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary served as director. campaign assistant to Pete Buttigieg, now transportation secretary. in a statement to POLITICO.
The organization’s first ad arrives in Michigan and attacks Kristina Karamo, Benson’s opponent who is backed by former President Donald Trump. She rose to prominence after being a challenger in the 2020 election, pushing conspiracy theories about the state’s handling of mail-in ballots.
The ad, which is expected to begin airing on Friday, does not, however, focus on her as the state’s next potential election official. Instead, he seeks to disqualify her from holding public office for calling abortion a “child sacrifice” and speaking at a conference organized by prominent QAnon conspiracy theorists. (She said she did not support this plot.)
“In politics, there are Democrats, Independents, Republicans — and then there’s Kristina Karamo,” the ad’s narrator says. “Regardless of party, Karamo is dangerously unfit for office.”
Minnesota’s ad campaign is set to begin next month. There, Simon faces Republican Kim Crockett, who has also sought to undermine confidence in her state’s election.
iVote has compiled a who’s who of recent Democratic and even Republican presidential campaigns. Its board includes Sevugan, from the Buttigieg campaign and Addisu Demissie, from the senator’s 2020 presidential campaign. Cory Booker (DN.J.). Tim Hogan, who worked on the senator’s 2020 presidential campaign. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), is an adviser to the group.
The secretary of state’s races have come under scrutiny since the 2020 election, when Trump tried to pressure election officials at all levels of government to help him reverse his defeat.
Since then, Trump allies have targeted the office in several battleground states, on the mistaken premise that the 2020 election has been plagued by fraud. They often campaign on the promise of both reviving the last presidential election in their state while making sweeping changes to the rules governing future contests.
The races are expected to attract much more outside attention than in previous cycles, when they were often sleepier affairs. Friday’s iVote announcement is one of the biggest ad buys yet.
The organization also announced on Friday that it was endorsing five Democratic nominees for secretary of state, a first look at where future spending could come in the final weeks before the election. Besides the two incumbents in states where it is rolling out an ad campaign, the group is also backing Adrian Fontes and Cisco Aguilar in open-seat races in Arizona and Nevada, respectively. Sevugan said the state is also considering advertising in other states, including Arizona.
iVote is also supporting Georgia State Rep. Bee Nguyen, who is challenging incumbent Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Raffensperger survived a Trump-backed primary challenge earlier this year after refusing to help the then-president “find votes” in the state in a bid to void the 2020 election.