Austin, Texas — National Democrats' most concerted push yet to turn Texas blue is now under way.
A new group aiming to spend up to tens of millions of dollars to help turn Texas Democratic officially launched today, announcing new leadership and a campaign website.
The organization, dubbed Battleground Texas, hopes to mobilize the state's growing Hispanic population, as well as other minorities, young people and progressive groups, in hopes of delivering the state's coveted 38 electoral votes to future Democratic presidential candidates and aiding Democrats running for statewide office, as Politico first reported last month. Texas hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994.
"With its size and diversity, Texas ought to be a place where local races are hotly-contested and anyone who wants to be President has to compete," Jeremy Bird, a former national field director for the Obama campaign who will advise the new group, said in a statement. (According to the group's Twitter page, Bird will appear on The Colbert Report tonight to discuss the organization.)
Jenn Brown, a former Obama campaign Ohio field director, will serve as the group's executive director, and Christina Gomez, a former digital strategist for the Democratic National Committee and former Texas Capitol staffer, has signed on as digital director.
The effort's launch comes as a spate of media reports have focused on early polling showing Hillary Clinton leading several potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates in Texas.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, however, Gov. Rick Perry batted down the possibility of Texas ever leaving the Republican column. "The University of Texas will change its colors to maroon and white before Texas goes purple, much less blue," Perry said.