A national organization is financing a $1 million campaign for a coalition of New York City Democrats set to mobilize volunteers and run attack ads to unseat U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, the Staten Island Republican representing the 11th Congressional District who is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the upcoming midterm elections.

The group known as Unrig Our Economy NYC will officially announce their launch on Friday and hold a protest event later this month, according to Drisana Hughes, one of the organizers and a campaign strategist at Stu Loeser and Co. The organization is being funded by a larger national group called Unrig Our Economy. Fresh off the heels of the successful unionizing effort at the Amazon facility in Staten Island, organizers said they will seek to convert that momentum into votes against Republicans, who have traditionally been pro-business.

The decision to finance such a campaign within the district, just months before the primary, reflects how Democrats are gearing up for what they see as a highly competitive race with the control of the House at stake. Under redistricting, the 11th Congressional District now marries a larger share of liberal parts of Brooklyn, including Park Slope, with the Republican-leaning borough of Staten Island, which was the only borough former President Donald Trump won in the 2020 presidential contest.

The effort is being advised by the Hub Project, a D.C.-based group run by a former President Barack Obama administration official and which has poured millions of dollars into campaigns across the country to pressure Republican members of Congress on policy issues.

Categorized as a 501(c)4 “social welfare” nonprofits, neither Unrig Our Economy nor the Hub Project are not required to ask their donors to disclose their names, unlike super political action committees. This makes these nonprofits one of the beneficiaries of so-called “dark money.”

In 2018, the New York Times reported that the Hub project was on track to spend nearly $30 million on campaigns across the country. They are an offshoot of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which in 2018, had a reported revenue of $143 million.

In 2020, the same year as the presidential election, the group donated more than $60 million to left-leaning affiliate groups, according to analysis by the website Open Secrets from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Hughes declined to comment on the group’s dark money ties.

While the congressional lines are currently the subject of a lawsuit, the Cook Political Report lists NY-11 as a competitive race that leans Democrat by four points in the midterm elections, provided the maps stay the same.

This new spending could also signal a sequel for the role of dark money played in the city’s only swing district House race in the last election. Outside groups spent more than $15 million in 2020 trying to influence the outcome of NY-11, according to Open Secrets, with only one other race in the country where more outside money was spent. All that money meant voters were bombarded with ads from outside groups.

Max Rose, a moderate Democrat and army veteran who lost his seat to Malliotakis in 2020, will battle for his party’s nomination against Brittany Ramos DeBarros, a progressive Afro-Latina candidate who is also an army veteran. John Matland, a former healthcare worker at Northwell's Staten Island University Hospital who was fired for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine, said he plans to challenge Malliotakis in the Republican primary.

As a nonprofit, Unrig Our Economy NYC cannot endorse either Democratic candidate. Instead, the group said it plans to focus on issues around the economy and repairing the Democratic party’s reputation among the middle class, Hughes said. She cited a recent poll that found that Americans associate the term “middle class” more with Republicans than Democrats.

“One thing that we've seen from this kind of macro poll that came out is that Democrats are losing on the economy and they're losing on economic messaging, specifically with the middle class,” Hughes said.

She said that she believes an issues-based campaign can be effective in the upcoming race, where voters will likely be paying attention to a competitive race and Democrats believe they can make a case that Malliotakis has expressed views that are “antithetical to the middle class.”

As an example, she said the Republican did not vote for the nearly $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act, a sweeping package of economic aid that Congress passed last year to address the costs of the pandemic.

Nonetheless, Malliotakis later took credit for a portion of the stimulus funds, which earned her criticism from President Joe Biden. Malliotakis responded by saying that she had always supported the small portion of grants in the bill directed at COVID-19 relief.

Asked to comment about the Democratic initiative against her, Rob Ryan, a spokesperson for the Malliotakis campaign called Unrig Our Economy NYC, “a far left dark money group that supports legislation that fuels inflation and would increase the tax burden on the average American family.”

He cited Malliotakis’ vote in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill last November, which sparked anger among some of her fellow Republicans and voters in her district. The bill is set to bring millions of dollars to the district over the next five years to repair roadways, shore up bridges, fix sewer systems and mitigate flooding while also creating new jobs.

Hughes said that Unrig Our Economy NYC expects to launch a paid TV advertising campaign in May. The Friday launch will consist of a social media campaign and trucks with electronic billboards driving through the district.

The campaign is currently supported by a mix of current elected officials and political organizers who want Democrats to reclaim the message about which party best represents voters on pocketbook issues.

“Republicans have been pretty clear about how they approach corporations, tax code, wealth—they're incredibly anti-worker,” said Brandon West, a former City Council candidate for the 39th City Council District in Brooklyn, who currently works as an organizer for The News Guild of New York, a union that represents people in the media industry.

West said he is supporting the Unrig Our Economy campaign because he saw it as an opportunity to tap into the growing momentum around workers organizing in the city.

“People are feeling hope for the first time, like Amazon is just the tip of the iceberg,” said West, referring to the recent unionization victory at JFK8, the company’s Staten Island warehouse.

Still, experts cautioned that an influx of dark money into this race could result in diminishing returns, with voters tuning out, especially when it happens one election cycle after another.

“The voter can’t possibly keep absorbing that level of messaging,” said Ian Vandewalker, senior counsel for the Democracy Program at The Brennan Center for Justice.

He said while the seven-figure investment from Unrig Our Economy was significant, he warned that voters in swing districts are likely to see massive spending from both sides.

“There’s definitely a big question in a race that’s so flooded with money, does it do anything at that point?” Vandewalker said. “I feel confident that if it’s at the level of $15 million in a House race, most of that money is just going down the drain.”

Correction: The Hub project says it is advising, not financing, Unrig Our Economy NYC. This story has been updated.