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Swing Left names Biden Treasury alum as new executive director

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Swing Left, the liberal group focused on engaging grassroots Democrats, has named Yasmin Radjy as the group’s next executive director.

Radjy was most recently senior adviser for recovery program outreach at the Treasury Department. Details of her new position were shared first with POLITICO.

“Swing Left was founded to engage grassroots leaders and teams around the country in the highest impact elections,” she said in an interview. “And my vision is to double down on all of that and just scale it up to the next level.”

Swing Left was one of a number of new liberal advocacy and political organizations founded around the time that Donald Trump assumed the presidency in 2017. The organization says it now has more than 1 million members, and it has raised north of $40 million for Democratic candidates and liberal organizations since it launched.

Radjy — who was also previously the national political director at Planned Parenthood Action Fund — will lead the organization during a challenging point for Democrats, with the midterms shaping up to be a tough political environment for President Joe Biden and his party.

“I’m reading all the same polls that you and Swing Left volunteers are reading,” she acknowledged, adding that she still believed there is a path to victory for Democrats.

Radjy said she believed that grassroots Democrats were still engaged, noting that Swing Left volunteers “are taking action in similar numbers to 2018, including in some places surpassing them,” which she said was driven in response to Republican extremism.

The announcement comes after a recent flare-up between some grassroots activists and the White House over abortion. Outgoing White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said in a recent statement to The Washington Post that some activists who were calling for President Joe Biden to respond more forcefully on abortion rights were “consistently out of step with the mainstream of the Democratic Party,” drawing an angry response.

Radjy downplayed any tension between the White House and grassroots Democrats, saying that “we’re seeing an administration that is opening the door to activists in a way that we have never seen before.”

Swing Left, which works on races up and down the ballot, has announced that it is targeting federal and state races in 26 states this year. It plans to direct its volunteers to nearly 60 House races, six gubernatorial races, seven Senate contests and seven legislative chambers.

Radjy named Pennsylvania as a state of particular focus as she takes over the organization. That state has legislative elections and a pair of competitive open races at the top of the ticket: Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro will face GOP state Sen. Doug Mastriano for governor, and Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is facing Republican physician Mehmet Oz for the Senate seat.

“The kinds of things that Republicans have done in legislatures like [Pennslyvania’s] are what we’re going to be fighting back against this election,” Radjy said, citing Covid relief funding and abortion policy in the state.

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