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Stacey Abrams at Essence Fest in New Orleans. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

A new political group called the Black Economic Alliance launched Monday and has already raised $3.5 million to put toward the 10 to 15 candidates they'll endorse.

The details: The group announced four initial endorsements on a conference call with reporters today, including Democratic gubernatorial candidates Ben Jealous in Maryland, Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and Richard Cordray in Ohio, as well as Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Why it matters: This is a significant effort to focus on minority communities and business leaders in a way other groups aren't ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

What they're saying: Akunna Cook, executive director of the Black Economic Alliance, said that they'll endorse candidates running in areas where black residents make up at least a 10% of the population.

  • Stacey Abrams said that "young people are very much woke and conscious" about the current political environment in a way that they weren't in 2016.
  • Richard Cordray echoed that statement, saying that in Ohio he's seen "young people standing up and speaking out in a way they haven’t done in 50 years" through movements like Black Lives Matter and March For Our Lives.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America is anxious, angry and heavily armed

Data: FBI; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Firearms background checks in the U.S. hit a record high in 2020.

The big picture: This past year took our collective arsenal to new heights, with millions of Americans buying guns for the first time. That trend coincides with a moment of peak political and social tension.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.