Contact: Neil Sroka,, 847-219-8491

National progressive group backs Barnes (WI), Green (HI), Regunberg (RI) in critical state contests

Today, Democracy for America (DFA) announced its endorsement of three candidates running for Lieutenant Governor in states across the country — Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin, Josh Green in Hawaii, and Aaron Regunberg in Rhode Island.

Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with 1 million members across the country and 44,023 in Wisconsin, 8,571 in Hawaii, and 7,310 in Rhode Island. These progressive candidates are DFA’s first endorsement for Lt. Governor in the 2018 cycle and join the endorsements of seven gubernatorial candidates and now 12 total statewide non-federal candidates the organization has made ahead of this year’s elections.

Chair Jim Dean on DFA’s endorsement of three progressive choices for Lieutenant Governor:

“All across the country, Lieutenant Governors play a critical role on the front lines of the fight for progress, whether they functioning as the leader of a legislative chamber, head of a Department of State, or standing in for the absence of a Governor.

“We’re excited to announce Democracy for America members’ full-throated support for three progressive leaders running for Lieutenant Governor in their respective states: Mandela Barnes in Wisconsin, Josh Green in Hawaii, and Aaron Regunberg in Rhode Island.

“Mandala Barnes is not only a hero in his home state of Wisconsin for his work championing progressive economic policy, criminal justice reform, and healthcare in the State Assembly, since his tenure in office he’s been a national leader in the battle for gun violence prevention and the building of progressive power in the nation’s state capitols. Democracy for America members are thrilled to support Mandala in his race to become the Badger State’s next Lieutenant Governor, because we know he’s committed to making sure Wisconsin works for working people once again.

“One of DFA’s very first endorsed candidates in 2004, Josh Green has a proud history as a progressive fighter in Hawaii’s State House and Senate and DFA members are thrilled to be supporting Josh once again. As Lieutenant Governor, we trust Josh to be a champion for Hawaii’s working families and ensure the Aloha State continues to be a national progressive leader.

“In Rhode Island’s State Assembly, Aaron Regunberg has proven himself to be an unwavering champion for inclusive populist priorities like raising the state’s decades-old tipped minimum wage and leading the fight to establish earned sick days. Aaron will not only work to end the kind of backroom dealing that distorts Rhode Island’s progressive politics, as Lieutenant Governor, he’ll help lead the battle for a Medicare for All-style healthcare and better access to reproductive health services.” — Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America

DFA’s endorsed candidates for Lieutenant Governor are an important part of its long-running “Purple to Blue” project, a multi-year effort dedicated to winning state House and Senate chambers across the country. In 2017, DFA’s Purple to Blue project helped elect 27 inclusive populist leaders to state legislative chambers across the country; ran an independent expenditure campaign for a Washington State Senate candidate that was instrumental in helping flip the chamber; and fiercely backed Justin Fairfax in his effort to become Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor and State Senate President.

As a part of its work in the 2018 election cycle, Democracy for America intends to raise and spend more than $12 million in support of progressive candidates, make more than 2 million voter contacts, and support more than 250 candidates nationwide — like those it’s endorsing for Lieutenant Governor today — in running inclusive populist campaigns committed to turning out the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters in November.

Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with more than one million members nationwide committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism. Since 2004, DFA members have raised and spent more than $54 million and made more than 21.9 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 917 progressive candidates nationwide.

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