January 23, 2019

DAGA More than Doubles Fundraising Record in 2018 Cycle, Flipping Four Seats Blue in Most Expensive State AG Elections in History; Regained Democratic Majority in State AG Seats Nationwide

As the Most Diverse Class of Democratic AGs in History, Coalition Set to Bolster Fight to Defend the People—Check Out Video Linked Here

Washington, D.C. – The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) today announced record-breaking fundraising in 2018: $16.3 million across all platforms—more than double 2017’s record of $7.6M. In 2018, DAGA played a major role in electing the most diverse class of Democratic AGs in history, flipping four seats blue and regaining the majority of state AG seats (27) nationwide. The finance team expanded the small-donor program in 2018 bringing in $1.2 million from more than 26,000 donors coming from all 50 states and D.C.  In 2018, there were 31 AG seats on the ballot on Election Day and experts predicted there would be more than $100 million spent on these races making 2018 the most expensive AG cycle in history.

“There is no doubt that DAGA made a difference in 2018—and now a majority of Americans will benefit from having a state AG who puts their communities’ needs first,” said Sean Rankin, Executive Director at the Democratic Attorneys General Association. “As we have transitioned over the past 2.5 years, we exceeded all the development, political, and fundraising goals we set in 2016, and I would like to thank the Democratic AGs, our committed strategic partners, and the growing list of donors who see something special developing here at DAGA.”

“As we look to 2019 and beyond, our commitment to innovation and developing new tools to reach voters sets us apart,” added Rankin.  “We are proud of the work that Democratic AGs and their teams do every day, and we look forward to supporting our 12 newly-elected Democratic AGs and continuing to aggressively pursue new opportunities to elevate their work.”

2018 was the year of the Democratic AG not only in the Midterm elections, but also for our democracy. The new majority of Democratic AGs is set to bolster their commitment to protect the people in their states and uphold the rule of law. In addition to announcing record fundraising, DAGA released this video (linked here) today highlighting newly-elected Democratic AGs reinforcing the importance of teamwork and the role state Attorneys General play in our system of checks and balances.

In the video, Delaware AG Kathy Jennings says, “People really do need to know the work that attorneys general do for them, and how it affects their everyday lives. It affects the air that they breathe. It affects the water they drink. It affects people’s civil rights.” Illinois AG Kwame Raoul adds, “We need attorneys general to continue to stand up collectively.” Closing the video, Michigan AG Dana Nessel notes,I’m very hopeful that working together we can create a future for all our nation’s children that we can be proud of.” A full transcript of the video is below.

Through its aggressive recruitment for qualified candidates and the launch of the 1881 Initiative, DAGA supported the election of the most diverse group of Democratic AGs in history as well as many notable firsts. In New York, Tish James is the first African American woman to serve in statewide office. In Michigan, Dana Nessel is the first openly LGBT individual to hold statewide elected office in Michigan. In Minnesota, Keith Ellison is the first Muslim elected statewide in Minnesota and the first African American AG in the state. In Nevada, Aaron Ford is the first African American AG to serve the state. William Tong is the first Asian American AG in Connecticut.

“I am proud of the success we saw in 2018 in our recruiting and early engagement programs that helped power campaigns,” continued Rankin. “There is a shared commitment by this committee and all of our Democratic AGs to support more women and people of color as candidates and as staff in their own offices. The People’s Lawyer—and those that support them—must reflect the people.”

Fundamental to the continued upward trajectory of DAGA in the 2019-2020 cycle is the committee’s on-going efforts to use data and technology to reach voters in innovative ways. In 2018, as part of DAGA’s first-of-its-kind volunteer-to-voter education texting program, volunteers reached more than 12 million voters this cycle to inform them about the importance of AG elections and to answer questions about candidates. As the only voter outreach program texting specifically about state AGs, DAGA’s digital door knock program reached voters in winning states including Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

“When voters get to know their Democratic AG candidate—and see that candidate’s commitment to issues that matter in the lives of their family and friends—voters pick the Democrat, even in red states,” concluded Rankin. “As we move into 2019 and 2020 with election maps that are mostly red, we need to work closely with a growing set of strategic partners to emphasize to voters what their state AG can do to help them and why it matters in their everyday lives to have a Democratic AG working for them.”

For more on DAGA’s Midterm success, see more details here.

Full video transcript below:

Colorado AG Phil Weiser: Our democracy’s now at stake. The rule of law, the idea that our government represents the people—of the people, by the people, for the people—that’s what we have to work to prove.

Maine AG Aaron Frey: In state government, there probably is not a position that has the range of ability like the attorney general to go in and advocate through the law, through policy, to make sure that citizens have a voice.

Delaware AG Kathy Jennings: People really do need to know the work that attorneys general do for them, and how it affects their everyday lives. It affects the air that they breathe. It affects the water they drink. It affects people’s civil rights.

Nevada AG Aaron Ford: We are about justice. And whether that’s justice for elderly people who’ve been defrauded in scams, or children who’ve been assaulted or molested, or justice in the criminal justice system.

New York AG Tish James: Women’s rights. It’s really critically important because this is my body, my choice. Standing up for the environment so that children can breathe. I’ve lost too many children in Brooklyn, and all throughout the city and the state of New York. Children who unfortunately have asthma. On behalf of individuals who are hiding right now in the shadow of government. I want them to know that government is their friend and that we’re there to serve them.

Delaware AG Kathy Jennings: It’s important to know that the attorneys general of this country will protect your right to vote, which is under attack.

Rhode Island AG Peter Neronha: I think if you’r attorney general you have a voice that many others don’t have. And I think it’s an opportunity to advocate for gaps in our system, which can really help people.

Colorado AG Phil Weiser: How do we make sure to protect healthcare for people? How do we protect our land, air and water? And how do we treat immigrants fairly and humanely? To fight for people, to stand up for consumers, to stand up for workers, and to stand up for our constitutional rights.

Connecticut William Tong: Right now, I think Connecticut families and American families feel this tremendous squeeze. There’s so much pressure. There’s so much we have to pay for. Your internet, your cell phone, the cost of utilities, the cost of housing, healthcare. It’s so much harder than it was a generation ago to raise a family, to run a business. And what stands between your family and all of that pressure and those forces that are arrayed against you is your attorney general.

Minnesota AG Keith Ellison: As Minnesota Attorney General, I hope to help people afford their lives and to benefit from the civil and human rights that all of us have a right to expect.

Michigan AG Dana Nessel: Our state needs a strong AG to fight back, and to make certain that all people in my state, and in the states all around the country are properly protected and that we can really ensure equal protection under the law for everybody.

Illinois Kwame Raoul: We need attorneys general to continue to stand up collectively and having expanded the ranks of Democratic attorneys general is a good thing for the country.

Michigan AG Dana Nessel: I’m very hopeful that working together we can create a future for all our nation’s children that we can be proud of.

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