The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and party leaders are teaming up with the Blue Dog Coalition, a small group of fiscally conservative Democrats, to recruit and mentor candidates for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, Bloomberg reported Monday.
Both groups reportedly aim to win as many seats for the party as they can next year.
The recent collaboration, Bloomberg reports, marks a shift from when there appeared to be little interest from party leaders in working with the coalition after Republicans gained control of the House.
“The DCCC has seen the light,” Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), a Blue Dog Coalition member, told the news outlet.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), chairman of the DCCC, praised the Blue Dogs in a statement to Bloomberg, saying they have ”been incredible partners,” who have helped compile a list of almost 80 Republican-held seats to target in 2018.
Democrats need to win 24 seats to gain control of the House. The caucus said 20 of those seats used to be held by Blue Dogs.
But some Democratic activists are against promoting candidates who may go against the party or traditional Democratic policy stances, Bloomberg reported.
Adam Green, the co-chairman of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a political action committee that aims to elect liberal candidates, said the Blue Dogs’ days “are over.”
“The threat to progressives is a Democratic Party that rallies around people generally going in the right direction, but who think very small-bore and who are themselves milquetoast candidates who don’t inspire voters,” Green told Bloomberg.
A faction of conservative Democrats formed the coalition in 1995.