Since 2016, the DLCC and state partners have built eight new majorities and flipped seats from red to blue across the country – paving the way for progress. State legislatures pass the policies that most affect Americans’ day-to-day lives, and flipping chambers from red to blue has an outsized impact on governing and public policy.
The DLCC recruits, trains, and supports local Democrats running for their state legislatures. We provide our candidates with the resources, field support, and data necessary to run smart, winning campaigns. By gaining a foothold in state legislatures, Democrats can engage supporters across the country and prepare for victories in statewide and national elections.
We’re powered by more than 200,000 supporters from all 50 states. Over 98% of our contributions come from grassroots donors (giving an average of $29), who fuel thousands of local Democratic candidates across the country.
Building up Democratic majorities in the states is more important than ever. With right-wing radicals proliferating state legislatures across the country and redistricting happening this year, our democracy is on the line. We’re counting on our supporters to get educated, involved, and take action in their communities.
We’re fighting to elect local Democrats, retake statehouses, and end right-wing gerrymandering across the country.
Our democracy can no longer afford for state legislative politics to take a backseat in America’s political consciousness. State legislatures aren’t just two or four-year plays. To advance the Democratic agenda, we have to strategically plan for the decade.
We don’t take any of our majorities for granted and will continue working to defend them while simultaneously mounting aggressive challenges in vulnerable Republican-controlled chambers. Our work is vital to protecting the Democratic path to the U.S. House and the presidency.
Leading the national strategy to elect more state Democrats and win legislative majorities.
Directing the day to day operations
The DLCC is governed by a board of distinguished Democratic state legislative leaders who represent the interests of our statehouse candidates nationally. Our chair, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, works with the board to oversee our efforts and ensure that state legislative leaders and partner organizations are engaged with DLCC’s work in chambers across the country.
Senate Majority Leader, New York
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins was first elected to the New York Senate in 2006. In 2012, she became the first woman, and African-American woman to lead a New York legislative conference. In 2019, her peers elected her as Temporary President and Majority Leader of the Senate. Stewart-Cousins has sponsored and passed transformative legislation such as the landmark Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act, and Child Health Plus and School Meal Enrollment Coordination Law. Due to her legislative and community service work, Andrea has been named “Woman of the Year” by the Business and Professional Women’s Club and “Legislator of the Year” by the Community Health Association of New York State. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Pace University and her teaching credentials in Business Education from Lehman College while raising her children as an adult. Stewart-Cousins resides in Yonkers and has three children and four grandchildren with her late husband Thomas.
Senate President pro Tempore, California
Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins was elected to the California Assembly in 2010 where she served for six years. In 2014, her colleagues selected her to be the Speaker of the Assembly and she became the first lesbian to hold the position. In 2016, Atkins was elected to the state Senate and was appointed to the Rules Committee. In 2018, she was elected by her colleagues to be Senate President pro Tempore. She became the first woman and the first openly LGBTQ person to lead the legislature’s upper house. Atkins counts a major $7.5-billion water bond and the creation of the state’s first Earned Income Tax Credit among her proudest accomplishments. Before becoming involved in public service, she worked as director of clinic services at Womancare Health Center. Atkins graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory & Henry College. She lives in San Diego with her spouse Jennifer and their dog Joey.
Senate Minority Leader, Michigan
Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich was elected to the Michigan Senate in 2013. He was elected Senate Minority Leader in 2014 and 2018. During his tenure in the legislature, Ananich has been at the forefront of addressing the Flint water crisis. He continues to push for answers and champion long-term solutions to the critical infrastructure, health and economic needs his community now faces. Ananich formerly worked as a civics and government teacher at Carman-Ainsworth and Flint Community Schools. He also served as an education coordinator for Priority Children, where he helped train Genesee County youth to secure internships and jobs. Ananich graduated from Flint Central High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in political economics from Michigan State University, and a secondary education certificate in social studies. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan-Flint. He lives in Flint with his wife Andrea and their son.
Senate President, Hawaii
Senate President Ron Kouchi was elected to the Hawaii Senate in 2010 and has served as Senate President since 2015. Kouchi was a lobbyist for the County of Kaua‘i at the Hawaii State Legislature and is a former member of the Legislative Committee of the Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce. He served for 22 years as a Kaua‘i County Councilman, including 12 years as Council Chair. He is a former director of the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative and the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau. Kouchi also served on the boards of the Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital and YMCA, and chaired the Wilcox Health Foundation’s capital campaign. Kouchi attended Drake University in Iowa. He and his wife Joy have two children.
Speaker of the House, New Mexico
Speaker of the House Brian Egolf was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2008. Among his legislative successes, Egolf championed equal pay for equal work for the women of New Mexico, reduced government corruption through the creation of a statewide independent ethics commission, and passed legislation to penalize the distribution of sensitive images, such as child pornography. As a private practice attorney, Egolf filed suit in New Mexico district court on behalf of a gay couple who were denied a marriage license. That case helped turn the tide toward marriage equality in New Mexico and just a few months later, the state’s Supreme Court ruled to legalize gay marriage, making New Mexico the 17th state to do so. Egolf earned his bachelor’s degree in diplomacy and public service from Georgetown University and his law degree from the University of New Mexico. Egolf resides in Santa Fe with his wife Kelly and their two daughters.
House Majority Leader, Delaware
House Majority Leader Valerie J. Longhurst was first elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in 2004. In 2008, she was elected as the House Majority Whip and served for four years. After the 2012 election, her caucus elected her House Majority Leader. Longhurst is the Chair of the House Administration, Ethics and Rules committees. Longhurst has advocated for a variety of common sense gun safety measures in Delaware — first by sponsoring legislation adding Delaware to the National Instant Background Check System, then by fighting to expand background check requirements for gun purchases to include straw purchases and gun shows, by closing the “Charleston Loophole”, and finally by supporting protections for victims of domestic and intimate partner violence. In addition to her responsibilities in the General Assembly, she plays an important role in many local and national organizations. Her involvement includes serving as a Women’s Network Advisory Council member of the National Conference of State Legislators, a board member of the Police Action League, and a member of the Delaware Sports Commission Advisory Council. Longhurst graduated from West Chester University and has two children.
Senate Democratic Leader, Wisconsin
Senate Minority Leader, North Carolina
Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Washington
Speaker of the House, Maine
Assembly Majority Leader, New Jersey
Speaker of the House, Minnesota
Speaker of the House, Maryland
Speaker of the Assembly, California
Senate Democratic Leader, New Hampshire
Speaker Pro Tempore, Nevada
The DLCC’s Federal Advisory Council (FAC) convenes federal Democratic lawmakers to focus on building power locally in state legislatures.
The FAC aids the DLCC in:
Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-03) is a small business owner, parent, and fifth-generation Iowan. Prior to her serving in Congress, Cindy worked for nearly a decade in the Iowa State Government, holding it accountable and saving tens of millions of dollars for taxpayers. Cindy has also committed to ensuring Iowans have an opportunity to hear from her directly, share their concerns, and suggest ideas for legislation. Throughout her time in office, Cindy has held more than 70 town halls – across all 16 counties of her district – earning her the title of Most Accessible Freshman Member of Congress in 2019.
Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-02) was born and raised in the city of Philadelphia. The son of an immigrant, he was elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature in 2008, becoming the first Democrat to ever represent his legislative district. He currently serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on the Budget. Congressman Boyle is the founder and co-chair of the “Blue Collar Caucus” which advocates for working families by addressing wage stagnation, job insecurity, and the future of work.
Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03) has dedicated his life to the cause of urban renewal, working to give a voice to those who too often live in the shadows, the poor and underserved. In 1980, Dwight Evans was first elected State Representative from the 203rd Legislative District and took office at the age of 26. Dwight made history in 1990 by becoming the first African-American Chairman of the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee. Dwight held the post for two decades, where he was instrumental in helping Philadelphia receive funding for economic development, job training, and education initiatives.
Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) is the son of a single mother who is an immigrant in the process of obtaining citizenship. In Congress, he has passed legislation to make housing more affordable and give Nevada families a tax cut while securing funding for Nevada’s schools and investing in job training programs. As a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, he has helped pass an infrastructure plan that will create thousands of good-paying jobs in Nevada. Prior to serving in Congress, Horsford served in the Nevada State Senate and made history as the first African-American Majority Leader.
Congressman Derek Kilmer (WA-06) serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Subcommittees on Interior & Environment, Defense, and Energy & Water. He also serves as co-chair of the Bipartisan Working Group and as Chair of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. Derek has been identified as one of the most effective members of the U.S. House. Prior to serving in Congress, Derek served in the Washington state House and the state Senate. He and his wife live in Gig Harbor with their two kids and their Australian Shepards.
Congresswoman, New York
Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06) was born and raised in Queens as the daughter of immigrants and has never forgotten where she came from or who she fights for. Before running for Congress, Grace worked as a public interest lawyer and served in the New York State Assembly. She serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and fights for federal programs that benefit women and children. Grace chairs ASPIRE PAC, which supports Asian American candidates and ensures that Asian American voices are heard in the political process. She also chairs At the Table, which supports minority and women candidates with the resources to run for office.
Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) is serving her second term in Congress fighting for Orange County families. Katie proudly serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. A single working mom, Katie understands the challenges facing Orange County families firsthand. She has championed legislation to make child care more affordable and empower more older Americans to age at home. She lives with her family in Irvine, California, where her children go to public school.
Before being elected, Congresswoman Norma Torres (CA-35) worked for over 17 years as a 911 dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department, where she served as a shop steward for AFSCME Local 3090. Norma also served in the State Assembly and State Senate where she implemented the Affordable Care Act and secured $2 billion in federal funds for the “Keep Your Home California” program – helping 64,000 families keep their homes during the foreclosure crisis. Representing California’s 35th District since 2014, Norma has been an advocate for working families of the Inland Empire. An immigrant from Guatemala, Norma is the sole Central-American serving in Congress.