Photo © Audrey Rothstein Photography

A national anti-Trump grassroots organization has raised over $550,000 from volunteers and donors to support Virginia General Assembly candidates in swing districts.

Swing Left, which sees flipping the Virginia state legislature blue as a first and crucial step toward defeating President Donald Trump and GOP candidates elsewhere, announced today it had passed the half-a-million-dollar threshold that will be used for its political ambitions in the Commonwealth.

Democrats only need to flip two seats in both the state House and Senate to win control of the General Assembly in the upcoming Nov. 5, 2019 election. If that happens, it will allow them to “undo Republican gerrymandering, expand voting rights, help ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and jumpstart a blue wave across the country in 2020.”

Swing Left is targeting competitive races in 15 House and five Senate districts that have become bluer over the past few years, the group said.

Some beneficiaries, like House of Delegates District 76 candidate Clint Jenkins, said they don’t benefit from “big corporate donations” like their opponents, so the support from Swing Left helps level the playing field.

Beyond financing campaigns, Swing Left’s grassroots volunteers will also knock on “thousands of doors” in the 20 target districts and send over 150,000 hand-written letters to Virginia citizens encouraging them to vote, according to the release.

“Democrats win because of our support at the grassroots level,” said Del. Wendy Gooditis (D-10). “Swing Left has been instrumental in mobilizing and directing that support to campaigns like ours.”

Republicans have controlled both chambers in the General Assembly for most of the last two decades. Until a few years ago, few would have believed there was an opportunity to change the status quo. Massive gains by Democrats in 2017, which included several first-time female candidates and candidates of color, leapfrogged them from the quiet minority to just a hair shy of winning back the majority.

Swing Left’s support will only help their cause — the group has flipped bigger houses before. Since launching in 2017, Swing Left has grown to nearly one million volunteers. Last year, they raised over $11 million and helped federal candidates win 55 races the country, “creating an unprecedented blue wave” that helped Democrats win back the U.S. House of Representatives.