Democrats announce huge fundraising haul for state legislative race efforts

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has raised more than one-third of its $60 million goal for 2024 races and will use some of the cash, as well as other resources, to target Democratic pickup opportunities in special elections over the coming weeks in Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, according to a memo outlining the group’s strategy this year.

The memo by the national Democratic arm in charge of funding candidates for state legislative races — shared with NBC News ahead of its release Wednesday morning — comes after the group announced last year that it would plan to spend $60 million during the 2024 election cycle.

The DLCC said Wednesday that it had already raised $21 million, a sum that would allow it to stay on track to fulfill the goals it set in an array of states with competitive legislative races.

In its initial announcement last month, the DLCC said it would focus heavily on helping Democrats protect control of state House chambers in Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and helping them flip state House and state Senate chambers in Arizona and New Hampshire.

But on Wednesday, the group added to its targets a trio of January special elections — a Florida state House race on Jan. 16 and two New Hampshire state House races on Jan. 23 — as well as additional races in late winter and early spring.

One of the races is a special election for a Pennsylvania state House seat on Feb. 13, which will determine control of the chamber. Democrats currently have a one-seat majority.

The DLCC will also target a pair of April 16 special elections for state House seats in Michigan. Control of the chamber is currently tied 54-54, so the two races could determine control. If Democrats win both races — each was left vacant after Democrats won mayoral races in their districts — it would continue a trifecta in the state that has enabled the party to forge ahead with a raft of liberal policies, including boosting abortion access and enacting new gun safety laws.

“The DLCC has raised over $21 million so far this cycle, a record amount for our organization,” the group’s president, Heather Williams, said in a statement. “We’re all hands on deck to continue our unprecedented growth as we start the 2024 election cycle.”

The DLCC has in recent cycles dramatically increased its investments in swing states across the country, an effort that tracks with the rising profile of once-sleepy state legislative races.

That spike has come largely because of increased attention around hotbed issues controlled by state governments, like abortion rights and election administration.

The group’s latest targets seek to build on Democratic successes in state races in recent cycles, including victories in November by Democrats in Kentucky (Gov. Andy Beshear won re-election in the solidly red state) and Virginia (Democrats won back full control of the state Legislature), and by abortion rights supporters in Ohio.