We can’t believe it.
When we asked you to chip in for sixteen pivotal districts, we never thought we’d get 5,743 donors and nearly $500,000 raised. But you did it. And we want to keep the money flowing to these key downballot races, where a $10,000 infusion might decide the election.
This round, we’re working with LaunchProgress (@LaunchProgress), which supports young progressives running for state and local office. LaunchProgress doesn’t just endorse candidates in strategically important races: they focus on true progressives, folks who, if elected they won’t just be silent backbenchers--they will lead on the issues that matter.
The LaunchProgress team also works closely with these candidates, providing them with coaching to use their dollars effectively. They are all running smart, aggressive, field-driven races: exactly the strategy that has led to upset wins by candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez this cycle.
As before, Data for Progress vets every candidate to make sure these are pivotal races and your money is going as far is it can.
The request is like last time — $60 to be split evenly between these six young (all are 35 or under), dynamic candidates running in strategically important races in North Carolina, Ohio and Michigan. We’ve set up an ActBlue page here.
Also, you can support Data for Progress here. These contributions will not support the Give Smart candidates, but rather general operating support for the think tank.
(Biographies provided by LaunchProgress)
Michigan Senate: Mallory McMorrow
We’ve discussed flipping chambers, but it’s just as important to break Republican supermajorities. Polls are looking good for Gretchen Whitmer to be the next Governor of Michigan, but her ability to make progressive change is hampered by a Republican supermajority in the State Senate that can block her veto. In SD-13, which Clinton won by six points, Mallory McMorrow is challenging incumbent Marty Knollenberg. Mallory is running a strong campaign and excitement is high among Democratic voters (7,000 more Dems than Republicans pulled primary ballots in the district this year), but her opponent is the incumbent and the son of a former Congressman. Every dollar will help us take back this seat.
Ohio House: Jessica Miranda
Republicans have held trifecta control of the Ohio state government since the 2010 elections, and have used it to bankrupt public schools, shred environmental regulations, and limit access to abortion. Democrat Richard Cordray is running a close race against Mike DeWine for governor, but winning the gubernatorial mansion won’t mean much unless we break the Republican supermajorities in both the State House and State Senate. Jessica Miranda is running in the Cincinnati suburbs, in what is widely considered to be the least gerrymandered district in the state. Voters in HD-28 supported Clinton by three points, but this race is far from a sure thing, so give to Jessica today.
Ohio House: Taylor Sappington
Closer to West Virginia than Columbus, the 94th House District exemplifies the hard Obama-Trump shift seen across the Rust Belt and Appalachia. Democrats won this seat in 2010 and 2014, but it flipped in 2016 to area rich kid Jay Edwards. Taylor Sappington is the Democrat to take it back. An openly queer and working-class Ohioan (his day job is as a server at Texas Roadhouse) and a popular member of the Nelsonville City Council, Taylor’s team has already knocked more doors than any Democratic campaign in the history of the district. If Taylor wins, it’ll show that not only are places like this not lost to Democrats, but that progressives (Taylor’s platform includes public broadband and debt-free public college) can win in Appalachia.
Ohio Senate: Louise Valentine
Andrew Brenner, the Republican candidate for Ohio’s 19th State Senate District, is famously too far right for even Dana Loesch. His largest contributor is the founder of ECOT, the online charter school that went bankrupt earlier this year and left thousands of students and school districts on the hook. Voters can trust that Louise Valentine will never post on a blog that calls Sandy Hook a hoax, and that she’ll fight to keep the Medicaid expansion and invest in public schools.
Ohio Senate: Paul Bradley
This Dayton-area district is one of the most competitive in the state, shifting from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016 by a mere four points. Top-ticket excitement and the fact that this seat currently has no incumbent gives us a good chance at picking this seat up. Paul Bradley is a former staffer for Senator Sherrod Brown, and is backed by Dayton’s popular progressive mayor Nan Whaley. That said, the Republican State Senate caucus is extremely well-funded, so every dollar will help us flip this seat.
North Carolina House: Erica McAdoo
Because of court-mandated district lines, breaking the North Carolina Republican State House supermajority – and perhaps even taking back control of the chamber – is doable in 2018. Erica McAdoo is hardworking and dynamic, and is running a strong campaign in rural Alamance County. Despite this seat’s flippable nature, Democrats did not put up a challenger in this district in 2016, and the incumbent has been caught flat-footed more than once for his questionable campaign tactics. Erica, and Alamance County, can flip for us this year--with our help.
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