Gov. Jay Inslee will chair the Democratic Governors Association in 2018, as the party looks to regain governors’ offices around the country in elections two years from now.

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Gov. Jay Inslee will lead the Democratic Governors Association in 2018, as the party looks to try to win back governors’ offices across the country with a favorable map two years from now.

At the DGA’s meeting in Louisiana on Monday, Inslee was elected vice chair and chair-elect, meaning he will be chair in 2018, the group announced.

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, the current DGA chair, was re-elected and will serve through 2017.

“Democratic governors have a critical voice in policy, as Washington, D.C., considers damaging plans like ending bipartisan Medicaid expansion in the states,” Inslee said in a news release, referring to national Republicans’ proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid expansion.

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There will be gubernatorial elections in 36 states in 2018, and in 27 of those a Republican is currently governor, offering ample opportunity for Democratic gains. What’s more, 16 of those Republican governors are term-limited and cannot run for re-election.

After this year’s elections, 33 of the country’s 50 governors will be Republicans.

“Democrats will go on the offense in 2018, with major opportunities to grow our ranks of Democratic governors,” Inslee said

The DGA spent nearly $100 million in races across the country in 2014, according to campaign-finance records compiled by The Center for Responsive Politics. It ratcheted down its spending this year — to about $25 million — as there were only 12 gubernatorial races, most of which were not competitive.

The group spent nearly $5 million on Inslee’s behalf in Washington in 2012, but mostly stayed out of his re-election efforts this year.

Inslee was previously the finance chair for the DGA, and his predecessors, Govs. Gary Locke and Chris Gregoire, have also served as DGA chairs.