Michael Steele has picked up what appears to be a significant endorsement in his campaign for the Senate — that of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. I’m sufficiently out-of-it that I have never heard of Simmons. But according to the Washington Times, this endorsement is likely to help Steele — who is an African-American Republican — make further in-roads with black voters in Maryland. Indeed, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile says that Simmons — who is scheduled to appear at a Steele fundraiser tonight — will help Steele with both young voters and black voters.
In the past, apparently, Simmons has helped the Democratic Party register hundreds of thousands of voters via the Hip Hop Summit Action Network. Moreover, one of Steele’s potential opponents in November is Kweisi Mfume, an African-American who sits on the board of directors of Simmons’ political action group. But Simmons has decided to endorse Steele regardless of who his opponent will be.