What is Fighting for the Majority?
In 1998 after a Republican controlled legislature overrode Governor Locke’s veto to create the state’s so-called Defense of Marriage Act, a dedicated group of gay and lesbian citizens recognized that if the LGBT community were to advance civil rights at the state level they would need to get involved in electoral process in a clear and powerful way. They decided to create a fundraiser to help elect legislators who would stand for equality. By and large, Democrats were the only candidates and legislators willing to do so, so the event benefitted Democrats. These citizens dubbed the successful fundraiser Fighting for the Majority. It became an annual event, and today Fighting for the Majority raises more “hard” money to support the Democratic caucuses than any other fundraiser.
Why give to Fighting for the Majority?
Funds raised by Fighting for the Majority go to directly support the election of Democratic legislators in swing districts via the House Democratic Campaign Committee and the Washington Senate Democratic Campaign (HDCC and WSDC). Armed with electoral expertise, research and polling, the WSDC and HDCC dynamically target our funds to the swing districts where they are most needed. This means, of course, Democratic legislative candidates who don’t necessarily have a large or obvious LGBT constituency in their districts nevertheless will receive LGBT support. This raises the awareness that the LGBT community is an important constituency for all Democrats in the Legislature.
How does Fighting for the Majority Work?
Fighting for the Majority is one of simplest fundraisers ever. Volunteers serve on the organizing committee, and they help get the word out. Individuals can sponsor the event starting at the $150 level, and couples may sponsor starting at $300. Sponsors who make their donation by October 4th will be recognized on the printed invitation to the sponsorship recognition event. The expense of the event is minimal so nearly all the funds raised go directly to support the retention of a Democratic majority in the Legislature. To contribute visit: www.fightingforthemajority.com
How does Fighting for the Majority fit in with the passage of the marriage legislation?
LGBT issues have been a priority of the Democratic caucus for years. While we are grateful for the Republicans who’ve supported bills we care about, unfortunately, none of the legislative progress made for the LGBT community in Washington would have been made over the last few years if Republicans had a majority in either legislative house. While there clearly are individual Republicans who support equality for LGBT people (whom we’re grateful for!), the party as a whole, and the leadership of the party in particular, have been staunch opponents of LGBT equality.
What Democratic or LGBT supporting seats could change in 2015 and 2016?
House races (currently 51/47)
House Democrats are hard at work supporting Representative Carol Gregory, as she fights to retain her seat in a special election in 2015. Representative Gregory was appointed in early 2015, following the death of Representative Roger Freeman. Incumbent Democrats expecting to face serious challenges in 2016 include Representatives Christine Kilduff, Hans Dunshee and Roger Goodman. House Democrats will also have to defend open seats and new appointees in the 19th (Longview, Long Beach) and 48th (Bellevue, Kirkland) Districts and may also have the opportunity to pick up seats in the 17th (Clark County), 26th (Gig Harbor, Bremerton), 35th (Mason County), 44th (South Snohomish County) and 47th (South King County) Districts.
Senate Races (currently 23/26)
Democrats have several real opportunities to pick up multiple seats in the Senate and retake the majority in 2016. Of the Republican seats up for election next year, US Sen. Maria Cantwell won in seven districts and President Barack Obama won in five. If Democrats can win two of those seats, while protecting the incumbent Democratic Senators, we will retake the majority. Our campaign team is hard at work recruiting strong candidates across the state to run in those swing districts.