More than half a million elected posts exist in the United States, within state and municipal governments. But in many states, as many as three-quarters of those races go uncontested, according to one political organization.
Contest Every Race is hoping to change things, and to get more Democratic candidates to run in those uncontested races. Per reporting from Axios, the organization plans to run candidates in at least 26,849 down-ballot races, an endeavor which will require spending in the seven-figure range.
The group is attempting to recruit progressive candidates in five specific battleground states, including Florida, Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina, and Iowa.
The group is decidedly anti-Donald Trump, per its own description in its About pages.
“We have seen the country begin to walk the path of dictatorship — attacking the free press and stacking the judiciary,” the group wrote. “We must protect our democratic norms and block the worst of Trump’s agenda.”
The group also says that it’s aiming to run in races where Democrats are often missing, including in “rural America [to make sure] that no Republican runs for office without a fight.”
75% of local races in OK have no Dem candidates on the ballot.
Our outreach to Oklahomans in 2019 reduced uncontested races by 10%.
— Contest Every Race (@contesteveryone) September 19, 2019
Contest Every Race’s steering committee is comprised of individuals coming from a variety of different progressive organizations, including Indivisible, MoveOn, Run for Something, the National Democratic Training Committee, and other left-leaning groups.
Their method for recruiting new candidates to run for office involves using new technologies. Former success stories from the organization detail how a constant stream of communication from Contest Every Race helped them to achieve electoral victory in their home state.
“Filing for your first political office can be intimidating, to say the least. The consistent texting, information, and friendliness of Contest Every Race was immeasurable,” said Shameria Ann Davis, a school board member who ran successfully for office in Texas in 2018.