New Campaign Aiming To Broaden Democratic Base Will Support Pro Life Candidates

A campaign aiming to broaden the Democratic base launched Tuesday with support from several powerful members of the party's establishment plans to support pro-life candidates, despite recent pressure from progressive activists to exclude them.

The New Democracy campaign, described as "a base-broadening initiative aimed at expanding the party's appeal geographically and demographically," was announced Tuesday with the support of 30 party leaders, including several high-profile Democrats such as Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

"These leaders – governors, mayors, state officials, and Members of Congress – know how to reach beyond core partisans and build governing majorities from the ground up," the initiative's director Will Marshall said in a press release. The group's mission statement seeks to extend the party's reach to "moderates, independents, and disaffected Republicans" and underscores its intentions of supporting "pragmatic candidates who can compete and win in suburban, small town, and rural places."

The press release also listed "decentralizing power to more effective and trusted local governments" among its four top priorities.

But the group's announcement came as progressive Democrats hammered party leaders from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for refusing to exclude pro-life Democrats from the party. Prominent feminists argued last week that it was impossible to have gender equality in a country without access to legal abortion services, urging the party to close its doors to opponents of the practice.

When asked by the Washington Examiner whether New Democracy will support pro-life candidates, spokesman Cody Tucker replied, "This effort is about making the party a big tent party, and we will support candidates who reflect the states, districts, and regions they represent. That may include pro-life candidates at times."

Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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