Boston, MA – Today, the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) and its legislative caucus, the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC), announced their metrics and targets for the 2015-2016 election cycle, when the RSLC plans a $40 million budget for state-level races – a record for the organization. The metrics and targets were unveiled on a press call from the RLCC’s National Meeting in Boston with RLCC Chair and Iowa Speaker Kraig Paulsen, RLCC Vice-Chair and Texas Speaker Joe Straus, and RSLC President Matt Walter.
“We are coming off of an historic election night for Republicans at the state level where we won majorities in a record 69 of 99 state legislative chambers,” said Paulsen. “Now with a $40 million budget, we are ready to defend those historic majorities around the country while expanding to pick up new chamber majorities.”
The RSLC and RLCC will focus heavily on six specific chambers with the most likely path to new Republican majorities in 2016: the Colorado House, Kentucky House, Washington House, Iowa Senate, Minnesota Senate, and New Mexico Senate. Each of these states currently have split chambers – one with a Democrat majority and one with a Republican majority.
In addition to chamber pickups, there will be a focus on ending Democrat supermajorities in states with new Republican governors and lieutenant governors, including the Illinois House and both Massachusetts chambers. The RSLC and RLCC will work to add more Republican members in both Vermont chambers – including ending the Senate Democrats’ supermajority – where they will have a competitive, open gubernatorial race this cycle, as well as Oregon where the political environment will be ripe for Republican gains in both chambers after an ethics scandal forced the resignation of their Democrat Governor and a special election in 2016.
In addition to fighting for new Republican majorities, the RSLC and RLCC will be actively defending existing Republican majorities. Following the 2014 elections, Republicans now hold five new blue-state, one-seat majorities in state senates that are up again in 2016. The organizations will be working to retain those five senate chambers in: West Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New York and Washington.
They will also be defending the five additional new blue-state majorities from 2014. Republicans now control 23 chambers in states President Obama won twice. The five new blue state chambers are: the New Hampshire House, Minnesota House, New Mexico House, Maine Senate and Nevada Assembly.
“Republican legislators have earned the support of voters in states across the country, including some states that were once reliably blue,” said Straus. “This cycle, we will help ensure that those legislators have the resources they need to share their achievements and their vision for the future.”
Before 2016, the RSLC and RLCC will be working to defend the six majorities up for election in 2015, which includes both chambers in: Mississippi, Louisiana and Virginia. In the Virginia Senate, Republicans hold a one-seat majority which will be a top priority to maintain in November.
“Virginia has become an increasingly important battleground state in presidential years,” said Walter. “There is no better message we can send that Republican states are ready to defeat Hillary Clinton than keeping both Virginia chambers red this November.”