The Lincoln Project, a non-partisan political advocacy group known for its catchy, often viral advertisements and digital content, is targeting Jen Kiggans in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.
Kiggans is a first term Congresswoman first elected in 2022 after defeating incumbent Democrat Elaine Luria. Kiggans’ victory came in a redistricting year that shifted the district boundaries to make it more favorable to the GOP. It was the only race a GOP candidate managed to unseat a Democrat, out of three total races.
The Lincoln Project has selected Kiggans and 17 other Republicans in districts with a strong contingent of what it describes as “Bannon Line” voters, those who are traditionally moderate and conservative-leaning, but who have become pro-democratic voters supporting a balance of power between parties. The name “Bannon Line” refers to Steve Bannon, former President Donald Trump’s controversial advisor.
The group warns that far-right Trump conservatives are now heading Congress, with Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan and Paul Gosar “controlling an extremist agenda that includes manufacturing a global financial crisis so they can finally destroy Social Security and Medicare.”
“To counteract this extremist — and wildly out-of-touch agenda — The Lincoln Project will focus its efforts in 2023 and 2024 in 18 Congressional districts that voted for both a GOP Congressional candidate and President Joe Biden,” the group wrote in an “interested parties memo” Thursday. “In these districts, voters explicitly voted against Donald Trump’s mayhem but still consider themselves traditional GOP voters.”
The memo posits that the group is “uniquely positioned” to defeat the targeted GOP Representatives, noting it is the only non-partisan group “engaged in fighting against the totalitarian forces that are trying to destroy the democratic traditions of the nation.”
The group wrote that it will use “skills hones over decades of political battles” to “lead the charge against this unpatriotic cult in the battle for democracy.”
In addition to Kiggans in Virginia, The Lincoln Project will also work to defeat GOP incumbents in Arizona, California, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
“Our goal is to put these 18 Representatives on the defensive and never allow them to coast,” the memo reads. “We must weaken these incumbents’ standing with their voters, drive them away from the destructive and divisive policies of MAGA, and ultimately make them unelectable to the voters of their districts.”
The other targeted incumbents include:
— Arizon’s 1st Congressional District: David Schweikert
— Arizona’s 6th Congressional District: Juan Ciscomani
— California’s 13th Congressional District: John Duarte
— California’s 22nd Congressional District: David Valadao
— California’s 27th Congressional District: Mike Garcia
— California’s 40th Congressional District: Young Kim
— California’s 45th Congressional District: Michelle Steel
— Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District: Don Bacon
— New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District: Tom Ken Jr.
— New York’s 1st Congressional District: Nick LaLota
— New York’s 3rd Congressional District: George Santos
— New York’s 4th Congressional District: Anthony D’Esposito
— New York’s 17th Congressional District: Mike Lawler
— New York’s 19th Congressional District: Marc Molinaro
— New York’s 22nd Congressional District: Brandon Williams
— Oregon’s 5th Congressional District: Lori Chavez DeRemer
— Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District: Brian Fitzpatrick
— Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District: Jen Kiggans
“It is important to highlight that the 2022 elections were a near miss for democracy,” The Lincoln Project wrote in its memo. “MAGA, and the anti-democratic forces that make it up, is not yet in decline no matter what the prognosticators say on television.”
“Donald Trump is still the driving force in the (Republican) Party, and anyone wishing to supplant him will need to win over the MAGA forces,” the group continued. “For the rest of 2023 and into 2024, MAGA will continue to engage in political and cultural arson to sow distrust in our democratic institutions and divide our nation.”
The group wrote that it will not rest until “MAGA is defeated.”