NDRC Announces Initial Round of 2022 Democracy Defenders

July 21, 2022

Washington, D.C. — Today, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) announced an initial list of statewide Democracy Defenders, the first in a series within our 2022 Democracy Targets. Building on its effective model that changed the game on redistricting, NDRC is applying its success in previous election cycles to now shine a spotlight on the state and local races most important for protecting our democracy. While the NDRC has long played in state-level elections critical for redistricting, this is the first time its electoral program extends beyond just candidates who are involved in redistricting, expanding the program to include targets to protect democracy overall, including multiple secretaries of state races.

“Our democracy is under attack and its fate will be determined in the 2022 elections. Therefore, we must do everything we can to elect pro-democracy candidates up and down the ballot,” said Eric Holder, the 82nd Attorney General of the United States and Chair of the NDRC. “The NDRC is proud to announce this first wave of Democracy Defenders – gubernatorial, secretary of state and state auditor candidates who will serve as key firewalls to the anti-democracy agenda currently being waged by too many in the Republican party. This November, there will be Republican candidates on the ballot who perpetuate the Big Lie, who participated in the January 6 coup attempt, and who view themselves as beholden to the extremes of their party instead of our constitution and the will of the people. That is what we are up against this fall – and our country cannot afford for any of us to be complacent. Make no mistake: democracy is on the ballot this election. We will ensure that voters understand what is at stake and do what’s necessary to protect our democracy.”

Just as the NDRC continues to lift up offices critical in the fight for fair maps, the NDRC’s Democracy Defenders will serve as key firewalls against Republican anti-democracy agendas in the states. Below is the initial list of the NDRC’s Democracy Defenders: 

  1. Georgia: Stacey Abrams (Governor), Bee Nguyen (Secretary of State)
  2. Kansas: Governor Laura Kelly (Incumbent)
  3. Michigan: Governor Gretchen Whitmer (Incumbent)
  4. Minnesota: Governor Tim Walz (Incumbent) 
  5. New Mexico: Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (Incumbent) 
  6. Nevada: Governor Steve Sisolak (Incumbent), Cisco Aguilar (Secretary of State) 
  7. Ohio: Nan Whaley (Governor), Chelsea Clark (Secretary of State), Taylor Sappington (State Auditor) 
  8. Pennsylvania: Josh Shapiro (Governor) 
  9. Texas: Beto O’Rourke (Governor) 
  10. Wisconsin: Governor Tony Evers (Incumbent)