ICYMI: In The Trump Era, These Elections May Matter The Most

“To be honest, (RAGA's) strategic focus, their fundraising prowess, and their clear organization gave them a significant advantage over the years,” (Democrat Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl) Racine told BuzzFeed News.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of the "incumbency rule" coming to an end, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is gearing up for a pivotal 2017 and 2018 election cycle.

Buzzfeed News reports

The 2016 election stripped Democrats of most any control in the lawmaking process. They remain the minority party in the House and Senate, and have zero influence in President Donald Trump’s White House.

But the added prominence of attorneys general has also put them squarely in the line of fire, as Republicans and Democrats gear up for campaigns in 2017 and 2018.

This year, there will be more money going toward the efforts to win attorneys general races.

Attorneys general races have increasingly become nationalized affairs. In 2015, the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes deemed Republican attorneys general President Barack “Obama’s most formidable opponents,” noting the ways in which the were teaming up to try to block the Democratic agenda: suing over Obama’s Clean Power Plant Act, the Waters of the United States regulations, some immigration actions and parts of Obamacare.

And it was a productive eight years for Republican attorneys general. “The one thing that I can say about the Obama administration is it created a lot of success for us in the states,” Paxton said, noting that they increased the number of Republican attorneys general to 27, a record.

“The attorneys general during the Obama administration really served as the last line of defense against federal overreach,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who now chairs the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), told BuzzFeed News.

Both organizations have also become increasingly professionalized as the business of electing attorneys general has come to be seen as less of a state issue and more of a national one. Until 2016, DAGA was effectively a “part-time committee,” as Rankin put it. Headquartered in Denver, with no full-time staff, DAGA was ill equipped to compete with the Republican effort that was already there.

“To be honest, their strategic focus, their fundraising prowess, and their clear organization gave them significant advantage over the years,” Racine told BuzzFeed News.

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