The NDRC will invest in secretary of state races in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio, along with gubernatorial races in states where the chief executive appoints election officials, such as Pennsylvania. Burton said the threat of electoral conspiracy theorists taking up some of those positions spurred the group’s action.
“They are choosing candidates who do not believe that Biden is the [fairly elected] president of this nation,” Burton said, pointing to former Nevada state assemblyman Jim Marchant’s victory in the Republican primary for secretary of state there on Tuesday, as well as the fact that Pennsylvania state senator Doug Mastriano , won the Republican nomination for governor of his state last month. .
The NDRC will also be heavily involved in races that align with the group’s focus on redistricting, including state legislative chambers and, increasingly, state Supreme Courts, which have decided multiple maps this cycle.
NDRC chairman Eric Holder will lobby donors and “travel a lot to these races” to support Democratic-backed candidates, Burton said.
The group’s initial target list doesn’t include which specific legislative seats it will play for, or how much money it plans to spend on individual states, let alone races.
“We will be taking the next couple of summer months to fully assess where we can fit into the picture, based on what we have on the target list,” said Garrett Arwa, interim CEO of the group.
But he said the organization has plans for “seven-figure” investment in the battlefield and, at a minimum, is prepared to back candidates in its target states and connect them with a network of donors and grassroots supporters. Arwa said the group had 44,000 “action takers” (people who attended an NDRC training, went to a hearing or engaged with lawmakers) from the redistricting process they plan to take advantage of by November.
Arwa acknowledged that not all of these targets, particularly the state legislative chambers, are ones that Democrats could realistically change in November. But the group wants to work on long-term ways to block Republican supermajorities or take control of some states.
“Some of these fights are immediate,” Arwa said, “and some of these fights are long-term and existential. We have to make the investment, not just every cycle, but every year to make sure we’re prepared for redistricting fights in the future.”