Democrats launch new group aimed at Republican strongholds

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ATLANTA (AP) — A group of prominent Democrats is organizing outside of the party with the goal of winning elections in Republican-dominated Middle America.

Calling themselves New Democracy, organizers say they'll push ideas and back candidates in rural areas and suburban enclaves that they say Democrats too often have abandoned.

The group includes sitting and former governors, onetime Cabinet members and members of Congress and statehouses. Among them are Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, who leads the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The lead organizer, Will Marshall, helped run a similar organization a generation ago. The Democratic Leadership Council helped propel then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton to the presidency.

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