GOP seeks to expand its control of governorships — and so far, it’s looking good

GOP seeks to expand its control of governorships — and so far, it’s looking good
The Republican Governors Association announced on July 11, 2017, its fundraising efforts for the 2018 election have set a new record, a potentially good sign as Republicans prepare for an important election cycle in which 38 governorships will be up for grabs. (2015 file photo/Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Republican Governors Association announced on Tuesday its fundraising efforts for the 2018 election have set a new record, a potentially good sign as Republicans prepare for an important election cycle in which 38 governorships will be up for grabs.

From January through June, RGA raised an impressive $36 million, surpassing the organization’s previous six-month record of $23.5 million.

“The RGA’s record fundraising is the direct result of the hard work and meaningful reform accomplished by every Republican governor,” said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the RGA chairman. “Republican governors are America’s doers — they are expanding opportunity, driving job creation, reining in wasteful spending and making government more efficient. With this fundraising success, the RGA is in prime position to re-elect our incumbents and elect even more Republican governors this cycle.”

In the 2016 election cycle, Republicans expanded their control of governorships across the country. Thirty-three states now have Republican governors, the highest number in 95 years.

RGA’s fundraising success is welcome news for Republicans, who have otherwise been outdone by Democrats in many other important fundraising efforts. In May, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised a record $9.3 million, significantly more than the National Republican Congressional Committee’s fundraising total of $6.5 million, which was the organization’s best total for the month of May since 2005, according to Roll Call.

Democrats, who have struggled to keep pace with Republicans in gubernatorial elections for the past decade, recently named left-wing Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee as its new chair. Inslee, who will succeed Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy in December, has been one of the Democrats’ few governors that’s managed to garner national attention.

Inslee says he plans to use President Donald Trump as a tool to get more Democratic governors elected.

“We have a chairman that is incredibly effective at turning out Democrats. His name is Donald Trump, and nobody in American history is so inspirational to Democrats to come vote,” Inslee said, according to a report by the Seattle Times.

Inslee, one of the Democrats’ leading voices on climate change, has said he’s “pretty motivated” to help Democrats win in 2018 so they can work to stop global warming.

“If we are going to defeat climate change, I have got to elect some more good Democratic governors, rather than those who belong to the Flat Earth Society,” Inslee said, according to the Seattle Times. “If we’re going to get a Congress that someday will be more interested in expanding health care to people with cancer instead of taking it away, we’ve got to get some more governors. So I’m pretty motivated.”

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