Minnesota Democrats can expect an infusion of campaign spending next fall from a national pro-abortion-rights group.
PAC EMILY's List announced Tuesday that it will spend $20 million on legislative races across the nation in 2020, including districts in Minnesota. The group wants to target key races and support women candidates who support abortion rights. Their aim is to keep the Minnesota House in DFL hands and flip the Republican-controlled Senate. All 201 seats in the Minnesota Legislature are on the ballot next fall.
EMILY'S List president Stephanie Schriock said the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling to keep federal courts out of state redistricting battles has heightened the group's interest.
"With redistricting just around the corner and the continued onslaught of anti-choice and other damaging legislation at the state levels, the stakes in our upcoming election could not be higher," she said.
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The group wants to spend in states where the legislature plays a role in the redistricting process. In Minnesota, the Legislature draws the state and congressional maps every 10 years and the governor can sign or veto them. But with a long history of divided government, the maps have routinely been drawn by the Minnesota courts.
Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, is not on the ballot next fall. If Democrats take the Legislature, they could have complete control of the redistricting process in 2021.
"These state legislative battles are crucial in the fight to protect reproductive freedom and ensure that districts are truly representative of voters in each state," Shriock said. "We look forward to expanding on our efforts to build a pipeline of women ready to serve their communities, and to electing women who can end these attacks and draw fair state and federal maps in 2021. Fair districts are critical to reviving our democracy and decreasing the polarization in our nation. The time is now."
The group spent more than $63,000 on Minnesota races in the 2018 midterm election. It's one of dozens of third-party groups that are trying to influence state elections next fall.