In bid to flip the legislature blue, national Dems announce spending on AZ

By: - December 6, 2023 5:00 am
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With Republicans holding the barest of majorities in the Arizona Legislature, national Democrats are already making major investments in the Grand Canyon State in a bid to flip the state’s legislature blue. 

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee on Wednesday announced it would spend $70,000 in Arizona to aid in candidate recruitment for key races, hiring staff, digital investments and more. The spending is the start of the DLCC’s push in swing states where the committee hopes to either solidify Democratic majorities or pick up seats and win legislative control. 

The money is part of an initial $300,000 push in swing states by the DLCC, with Arizona and Michigan getting the lion’s share of the money. The DLCC is also spending money in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina. 

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In Arizona, Republicans have one-seat majorities in both the 60-member state House of Representatives and the 30-member state Senate. DLCC interim President Heather Williams told the Arizona Mirror that the committee is hoping to flip the House and Senate in part by highlighting the extreme positions of Republican lawmakers. Many proposed law changes inspired by those extreme positions earned vetoes from Gov. Katie Hobbs earlier this year. 

“The Republican majority in both chambers is vulnerable,” Williams said, adding that this is only the committee’s “initial investment,” as the group anticipates spending much more in 2024. 

Williams did not elaborate on which Arizona races the group plans to target, but mentioned that the group aims to do something similar to what happened in Virginia this year. 

Last month, Virginia Democrats gained control of the House and solidified their control of the Senate. The DLCC hopes to mirror that in Arizona. In that election, all 140 seats in the Virginia legislature were up for grabs, and Democrat wins will block Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s ability to fully enact his conservative agenda

The DLCC ended up spending more than $2 million in Virginia. 

“Here is what we know about Republicans, they are legislating in a way across the country that is not where their constituents are,” Williams said, citing access to abortion and health care for women as key. 

Republicans and Democrats are eyeing a number of key state house races for 2024 but Williams is confident that her party will come out on top, adding that the DLCC intends to have a dialogue with voters and to help people get registered to vote. 

“I think we feel really strong with our position as an organization,” Williams said, adding that having Hobbs, a former state lawmaker as a Democratic ally in the governorship will offer advantages. 

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joined the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.

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