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Political Reporter’s Notebook: Warnock Just Landed a Key Endorsement in Senate Race

Plus, Abrams pushes for abortion rights while Kemp rolls on with false accusations about her law enforcement views.

The Collective PAC, a Washington, D.C.-based group dedicated to getting more Black candidates elected, declared its support for U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock on Wednesday. (Getty Images)

Happy 4th of July weekend!

A prominent Black political action committee endorsed Raphael Warnock in his U.S. Senate race against GOP challenger Herschel Walker.

Black lawmakers weighed their options to protect abortion rights in Georgia following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 overturn of Roe v. Wade.

And Stacey Abrams continued to press Gov. Brian Kemp on abortion rights, while the latter kept making false claims that his opponent supports defunding the police.

Prominent Black political action committee endorses Warnock

The Collective PAC declared its support for Warnock on Wednesday as the incumbent Democratic U.S. senator continued his re-election campaign. The Washington, D.C.-based group describes itself as the country’s “largest political action committee dedicated to increasing Black political engagement, representation, and power across all levels of government.”

Collective PAC’s list of endorsed candidates include Abrams, U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, U.S. Rep. Val Demings of Florida, and Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison. The group says it has helped a total of more than 110 candidates win elections at the local, state and federal level.

In a joint statement, the group’s founders, Quentin James and Stefanie Brown James, said Warnock has helped secure funding for historically Black colleges and universities. They note that he also pushed for funding to help save state military jobs, and advocated on behalf of issues important to Black people, including voting rights and job creation.

“Reverend Warnock is a strong advocate for Georgia and will continue to push for equal representation and equity in the Senate,” the co-founders said.

Their endorsement came the same day the results of a new Quinnipiac poll showed Warnock leading Walker by 10 points.

Black lawmakers weigh options on abortion rights

Georgia Democrats hosted a press conference Monday to lay out how they plan to protect abortion rights in the state now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.

U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, chair of the Georgia Democratic Party, said lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working to ensure abortion pills are available by mail to women in Georgia, where the procedure remains legal despite the looming reinstatement of the state’s six-week ban.

Williams also said federal lawmakers are still pursuing getting the Women’s Health Protection Act passed in the U.S. Senate, where the proposed law — which would make it illegal to restrict abortion access throughout the country — failed to pass a procedural vote in May.

“This is something that we’re talking about on the federal level so that states can’t intervene with women getting the care that they need,” Williams said.

The ACLU of Georgia confirmed Thursday that it is considering filing a lawsuit challenging the state’s six-week abortion ban on Georgia constitutional grounds in the coming weeks.

“We’re looking at all our options and that’s certainly one of them,” ACLU of Georgia executive director Andrea Young told Capital B Atlanta.

Abrams, Kemp spar over abortion rights, gun control views

The gubernatorial competitors traded barbs this week on competing issues that they hope will help them win in November.

Abrams continued to press Kemp on abortion rights, which 68% of Georgians support, according to a January poll from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The six-week abortion ban Kemp signed into law in 2019 appears to have put him at odds with a majority of Georgia voters. Anti-abortion members of his GOP base are pushing for him to call for a special legislative session to pass additional abortion restrictions. The 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals is expected to lift a pause on the legislation, which came as the result of a lawsuit filed the same year. 

Abrams recently said that if elected, she plans to protect a woman’s right to have an abortion up to the point of fetal viability, in which a fetus can survive on its own outside the womb. Exceptions would be made in the case of protecting a woman’s life and health.

“We have to set the conditions, but we cannot use timelines to determine whether a medical decision can be made to save the life and health of a woman,” Abrams told the AJC. “It has to be a medical decision, not a political decision.”

On the issue of gun control, Kemp continues to accuse Abrams of being in support of defunding the police. This despite the fact Abrams told Axios Atlanta last week that she supports increasing officer salaries across the state.