Gay rights group launches $26M campaign ahead of midterms

A pile of "I voted today" stickers is ready to be handed out to voters at the Oshkosh Town Hall in Winnebago County, Nov. 8, 2016. (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation's leading gay rights groups, is launching a $26 million political organizing effort ahead of next year's midterm elections.

While the effort is nationwide, the group is focusing its resources in particular on several key states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada. All six states have competitive Senate races next fall, and each is a presidential battleground.

HRC president Chad Griffin says the effort, which will include hiring at least 20 additional political staffers, aims to go "beyond resistance" -- drawing from the phrase used by opponents of President Donald Trump's administration. Griffin says the group will focus on fighting legislation curbing gay rights and backing "pro-equality candidates and initiatives."

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