The AFL-CIO will endorse Kansas Senate candidate Greg Orman, a spokesman for the labor union tells National Journal, giving the independent candidate from Kansas a last-minute lift in his race against Republican incumbent Pat Roberts.
Orman has been one of the midterm elections' surprise candidates, emerging as a serious threat to defeat Roberts despite the state's conservative electorate. But he's been hindered by a lack of support from outside groups—the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Senate Majority PAC, wary of backing a candidate who has said he will caucus with whatever party holds the majority, have declined to help his campaign. Republican-leaning outside groups, meanwhile, have started spending millions of dollars on TV ads in an attempt to salvage Roberts's candidacy.
Just a day earlier, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—the AFL-CIO's traditional nemesis—announced it would run a new anti-Orman ad campaign worth more than a half-million dollars.
The AFL-CIO won't run TV ads for Orman, spokesman Jeff Hauser said, but his campaign will now be incorporated into the union's extensive ground game there. The AFL-CIO had previously endorsed Kansas's Democratic Party's gubernatorial nominee, Paul Davis, who is locked into one of the country's most competitive gubernatorial contests with incumbent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.