The Democratic National Committee is expanding its presence in Texas as polls continue to show a closer-than-usual presidential race in the solidly red state.
Texas is set to become the fourth state participating in the DNC's Victory Leaders Council program, which establishes groups of prominent state Democrats to work directly with the party operation in Washington. The program is already underway in Arizona, Georgia and Utah — three other traditionally Republican states where Democrats are seeing new opportunity this election cycle.
The Texas Victory Leaders Council features a who's who of state Democrats, including well-known activists, donors, elected officials and party leaders. The council will be focused on helping elect both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and down-ballot candidates while trying to lay the groundwork for Democratic inroads in the state beyond 2016.
"Democrats are competing across the country and building for the future," DNC chief of staff Brandon Davis said in a statement. “In states from Georgia to Texas, demographics and politics are changing quickly — and Democrats are making the investments to make gains now so that we can take majorities later."
Polls have been showing an unusually close race in Texas, with Republican nominee Donald Trump leading Clinton by only single digits in most surveys. The past two GOP presidential nominees, Mitt Romney and John McCain, carried the state by 16 and 12 points, respectively.
The state has also caught the attention of the Clinton campaign, which has opened several offices across Texas and dispatched surrogates to stump for the ticket. Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, spent two days in the state last week, holding a Houston rally in which hedeclared that he and Clinton "take Texas very seriously."
The DNC says its Victory Leaders Councils are volunteer-driven but will "work closely" with the leadership of the Clinton campaign in each state. Jackie Uresti is currently serving as Clinton's Texas state director.
The Texas Tribune provided this story.