Billionaire-Backed PAC spends millions on District 2 congressional race for Shomari Figures, while defending Trump allies nationwide

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Until recently, no one in Alabama’s new congressional district 2 had ever heard of Protect Progress PAC.  However, after spending nearly $3 million dollars on mailers and TV ads, Protect Progress PAC is responsible for helping make Shomari Figures a household name while vilifying his opponent.  Who they are and why they are spending so much for Figures is less known but getting clearer.  Here’s what we know.  

Protect Progress PAC was formed eight months ago in Washington, D.C., and is funded by a small group of out-of-state billionaires.  These billionaires have and plan on spending heavily to protect Republicans, including Patrick McHenry in North Carolina and Tom Emmer in Minnesota. Both have been endorsed by or have endorsed former president Donald Trump.  At the same time, Politico has reported that the group backing Figures is expected to spend millions to defeat democratic incumbents like Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. They spent over $6.8 million dollars to eliminate Warren’s protege, a progressive democrat, in a California congressional race earlier this year. 

Federal Election records show Protect Progress PAC has spent almost $3 million trying to get Shomari Figures elected. Much like Project Progress PAC, until recently, Figures had little presence in Alabama for decades. In fact, Figures only registered to vote in Alabama in the last year and just 18 months ago purchased a $1.2 million house in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.  

So why would this group want to pick Alabama’s democratic nominee for Congress? Do their values align with that of the voters of Alabama’s new congressional district? Longtime Democrat leader Joe Reed has his doubts.

Earlier in the race, Democrats like Reed questioned Figure’s ability to remain on the ballot given Protect Progress’s contributions and their ties to Republicans, who he accused of trying to “buy or steal” the election. 

Reed stated, “The Democratic Party should not stand idly by and let the crooks, thugs, and thieves steal the election from us. The United States Supreme Court ordered Alabama’s Legislature to draw a District that Blacks could win. It certainly did not order that there be drawn a district for Republicans to buy or steal or for Blacks to sell!”

In an interview with conservative 1819 News, Figures defended himself and attacked the longtime Alabama democrat’s leadership “Let’s be clear: this is just Joe being Joe again,” he said of Reed’s letter questioning the money being poured into the race.