American filmmaker Ken Burns is actively fundraising for Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly (Ariz.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.).
Burns, known for critically acclaimed documentaries including “The Civil War” and “The Vietnam War,” has put his name on several emails sent out by Kelly’s campaign.
In one fundraising email, Burns notes that the Arizona senator is a retired Navy captain who landed 299 times on the USS Midway during his career.
“A Navy pilot contends with the ocean, the wind, and the aircraft carrier — not to mention their own plane. It’s one of the most challenging things a person can do, and he did it 299 times. That says a lot about Mark: He’s up to a challenge,” Burns wrote. ” But that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Before Mark ever landed, he had a team behind him.”
“Today, in Mark’s re-election campaign, we’re his team. We’re his support system. And he needs all the help we can give,” Burns continued.
Kelly is facing a tight race for re-election against Trump-backed opponent Blake Masters with midterm elections less than a month away.
Burns asks supporters to split their donation between Kelly and Gillibrand, who is up for reelection in 2024.
In addition to his war films, Burns’s vast catalogue with PBS includes documentaries about the Great Depression, Congress and his latest series no America’s response to the Holocaust.
In another email asking for donations to both Gillibrand and Kelly’s campaign, Burns says the “challenges to our republic are rampant, the democratic values that make up the fabric of our nation under assault and at risk of unraveling.”
“I’ve spent more than four decades making films about turning points in American history in an attempt to help us understand our past and interpret our present,” the filmmaker wrote. “I know when a historic moment is upon us, and the outcome of the November election is clearly such a moment. “
Burns, 69, has previously warned the U.S. is facing another great crisis, comparing the current state of political polarization to the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II.
“This is a time not for rejoicing, but to remember that in order to gather strength to deal with these dark moments, we have to actually remember to let in the light that is right in front of us,” he said on NPR last year.
Burns is a longtime Democrat who has previously spoken out against former President Trump.