Jan 30, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Democratic governors rake in record cash ahead of 2024

Kentucky incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear delivers his victory speech to a crowd at an election night event at Old Forrester's Paristown Hall

Kentucky incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear delivers his victory speech. Photo: Stephen Cohen/Getty Images

The Democratic Governors Association raised $71.5 million last year — a record for an off year that helped Democrats hold a seat in Kentucky and build momentum into 2024, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The overturning of Roe v. Wade and efforts to change voting laws since 2020 have put a spotlight on the importance of state leaders. Democrats have seized on the issues, and see an opportunity to get even with Republicans who have long dominated at the state-level.

  • "With Democratic governors serving as the last line of defense from extreme attacks on democracy and fundamental freedoms, electing more Democratic governors has never been more important," DGA executive director Meghan Meehan-Draper said in a statement.
  • Meehan-Draper added that the group is "on track to have our best January ever, breaking the last January record by more than 50 percent."

Zoom in: Last year's fundraising from the DGA represented a 66% increase from 2019, the last comparable year.

  • The group spent more than $20 million in Kentucky, re-electing Gov. Andy Beshear in a solid red state.
  • The high-profile victory underscored the potency of the abortion issue for Democrats. Democrats also managed to flip three governors' seats in 2022 — in Arizona, Maryland and Massachusetts.

What to watch: Democrats have set their sights on the New Hampshire gubernatorial race this year as another pickup opportunity. They're also seeking to retain power in North Carolina and Washington state, where their incumbents will not be running for re-election.

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