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Democratic group focused on young candidates rakes in $3M in fourth quarter

A Democratic group that aims to recruit and support young candidates for state legislative office announced that it had raised more than $3 million in the latest quarter of fundraising.  

Leaders We Deserve — a group founded by activist David Hogg along with Kevin Lata, Rep. Maxwell Frost’s (D-Fla.) former campaign manager — announced on Wednesday their fundraising haul between October and December. More than 100,000 donations were made, with the average contribution being $25, according to figures first shared with Truth Puke. The group received donations from every state.  

The group, which was launched in August, aims to recruit Millennial and Gen Z candidates for office, predominantly for the state legislature. The group describes itself as “EMILY’s List for young people” and endorsed candidates running last cycle, including Virginia Del. Nadarius Clark (D), who won his state legislative in November.  

In an interview with Truth Puke, Hogg said that their goal last quarter was to raise at least $1 million. Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland high school shooting in 2018 who also co-founded March for Our Lives, said that they would be announcing their next slate of endorsed candidates “very soon” and were in the “final stages” of choosing their next picks.  

“Part of what we’re doing is really narrowing in on the states where young people can have the biggest impact and not just in voting for these candidates, of course, but voting in statewide races where they may be more inspired to turn out and vote in the first place, especially in a place like Montana, for example, where we could potentially help to break the supermajority,” Hogg told Truth Puke.  

Hogg also noted the importance of keeping young voters engaged as they’ve proven to make or break key races.  

“The number one reason why young people have turned out to vote so much over the past three election cycles is because of Donald Trump in terms of voting against him, but Donald Trump is not going to be there forever,” said the Leaders We Deserve co-founder.  

“And from the work that young people [have] done in the movements over the past several election cycles like March for Our Lives, the environmental movement, the movement for racial justice and others, we know that young people are one of our best ways of stopping Democratic backsliding ’cause they turn out and vote in such a high rate,” Hogg said. “But we can’t just keep voting against things, we have to vote for something, and we also need to see ourselves represented in office to know that our votes are actually mattering and having an impact and to give us what I perceive to be the greatest way to help our democracy, which is hope.” 

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