A major Democratic super PAC says it won’t spend resources to boost the Senate campaign of former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) amid his announcement that he supports Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Priorities USA Action said it won’t back Democrats who vote or support Kavanaugh, whose nomination was in turmoil amid allegations of sexual assault. Priorities hadn’t spent any money to help Bredesen and will now forgo that possibility in the remaining weeks before the midterms.
“We haven’t been spending there and any option to is now off the table,” Priorities spokesman Josh Schwerin told The Hill.
ADVERTISEMENTThe Daily Beast first reported Priorities’s stance on the Tennessee Senate race.
Bredesen announced on Friday that he supports the confirmation of Kavanaugh, while also condemning the treatment of Christine Blasey Ford, who testified late last month that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school, which he has vehemently denied.
“While the subsequent events make it a much closer call, and I am missing key pieces of information that a sitting Senator has, I’m still a ‘yes,’” Bredesen said in a Friday statement.
Bredesen faces a tough challenge against Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police GOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters Five things to know about Trump’s legal power under the Insurrection Act MORE (R-Tenn.) in a battle to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism Trump asserts his power over Republicans Romney is only GOP senator not on new White House coronavirus task force MORE (R-Tenn.). President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE carried Tennessee by double digits in 2016. Polls have shown a tight race with Bredesen up in many, but that gap has started to close weeks out from the midterm elections.
Throughout his Senate campaign, Bredesen has kept his distance from the national party, arguing that he’ll be an independent voice for Tennesseans and work across the aisle. He recently announced at a Senate debate that he wouldn’t support Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE (D-N.Y.) as the Senate Democratic leader.
While Priorities won’t spend on behalf of the Tennessee Democrat, Bredesen has already gotten major help from other Democratic outside groups that have spent millions to elevate him, including Senate Majority PAC (SMP) and Majority Forward.
Priorities said it would also forgo spending on Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump administration seeks to use global aid for nuclear projects Shelley Moore Capito wins Senate primary West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice wins GOP gubernatorial primary MORE’s (D-W.Va.) race if he votes for Kavanaugh in a final vote Saturday.
Manchin voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination in a key procedural vote on Friday, though he hasn’t announced where he stands on the final vote.
Manchin is up for reelection in a state that voted for Trump by more than 40 points. He’s running against West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), though polls show Manchin comfortably ahead.
While Priorities is stepping away, SMP told the Washington Examiner on Friday that they’ll continue to support both Bredesen and Manchin’s Senate bids.
“Senate Majority PAC supports Phil Bredesen and Joe Manchin. They are the only candidates with an independent record of getting results for Tennessee and West Virginia,” SMP spokesman Chris Hayden told the Examiner. “They’re both winning these races because of their record.”
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