WASHINGTON - A group started by former President Barack Obama is making its first big push into politics, targeting 27 Republican-held House seats in November's midterm elections.
The effort by Organizing for Action will focus on mobilizing organizers to turn out Democratic voters, as the party works to recapture the House majority. To reclaim the House, Democrats need to flip 24 seats now held by Republicans.
In addition, the group will work with the redistricting organization led by former Attorney General Eric Holder to promote ballot initiatives and Democratic candidates for governor and state legislatures in nine states. Holder's group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, wants to give Democrats greater control in drawing congressional and legislative districts after the 2020 Census.
The House seats targeted by Organizing for Action range from Arizona's 2nd congressional district - a seat now held by Republican Martha McSally, who is running for the U.S. Senate - to the Wisconsin seat left open by House Speaker Paul Ryan's retirement. Eight of the targeted races are in California.
In a statement, Organizing for Action (OFA) officials said lawmakers in the 27 districts have "consistently advanced the interests of the wealthy and the well-connected at the expense of hard-working families."
Organizing for Action was launched during Obama's second term as a grassroots force to promote his White House agenda. In a tweet Tuesday, OFA spokesman Jesse Lehrich said the "battle-tested organizing and training skills" of the group's volunteers "will be a huge value-add for progressives in critical races this November."
"All hands on deck for 2018," he added.
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