Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Democrats launch their first slate of challengers in the fight for the House majority

By 37ci3 Jan29,2024

WASHINGTON — House Democrats officially announced their first 17 candidates to take on Republicans in competitive districts on Monday, launching a “red to blue” program as part of their quest to regain control of the chamber this fall.

The candidates are from regions that are hotly contested in the 2022 elections and are likely to decide the majority in November. Some, if not all, were carried by President Joe Biden in 2020.

The announcement, first reported by NBC News, gives these contenders the official stamp of approval from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, planting a banner with donors, activists and party loyalists they see as best positioned to win critical districts.

Republicans control the majority by a wafer-thin margin of 219 to 213 with three vacancies. Both parties are defending many seats in the contested territory.

Here is a list of the 17 districts and the DCCC-backed candidates:

  • AZ-06: Kirsten Engel (Hosted by Rep. Juan Ciscomani)
  • CA-13: Adam Gray (Conducted by Rep. John Duarte)
  • CA-22: Rudy Salas (Filed by Rep. David Valadao)
  • CA-27: George Whitesides (Filed by Rep. Mike Garcia)
  • CA-41: Will Rollins (Filed by Rep. Ken Calvert)
  • CO-03: Adam Frisch (open seat)
  • IA-01: Christina Bohannan (Filed by Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks)
  • IA-03: Lanon Baccam (Filed by Rep. Zach Nunn)
  • MI-07: Curtis Hertel (open seat)
  • MT-01: Monica Tranel (Filed by Rep. Ryan Zinke)
  • NE-02: Tony Vargas (Filed by Rep. Don Bacon)
  • NY-03: Tom Suozzi (open)
  • NY-17: Mondaire Jones (Filed by Rep. Mike Lawler)
  • NY-19: Josh Riley (Filed by Rep. Marc Molinaro)
  • OR-05: Janelle Bynum (Filed by Rep. Lori Chavez-Deremer)
  • TX-15: Michel Vallejo (Retained by Rep. Monica De La Cruz)
  • VA-02: Missy Cotter Smasal (Hosted by Rep. Jen Kiggans)

Some candidates, like Suozzi and Jones, are former members of the House of Representatives. Suozzi is running in a special election on Feb. 13 for a competitive district previously held by former R.N. Rep. George Santos. Regardless of the outcome, Suozzi is expected to run again this fall. New York’s map could also change dramatically by fall, as the redistricting battle is still raging.

Others, such as Vargas, Salas and Rollins, are looking for rematches with the same California GOP incumbents after narrowly losing in 2022. The other, Curtis Hertel, D-Mich., is running for the open seat being vacated by Elissa Slotkin. He is running for the Senate.

Frisch narrowly defeated Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., in 2022. He recently announced he’s running in a different district that’s more GOP-friendly.

“House Democrats have many ways to win back the majority, and this incredible slate of candidates is at the forefront of those efforts,” DCCC Chair Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., said in a statement. “These candidates represent the broad and diverse coalition that will be critical to the Democrats’ success in 2024 and their commitment to addressing the pressing issues facing everyday Americans.

Those Democratic districts don’t include other competitive areas Biden won, such as seats held by David Schweikert, R-Ariz., or seats the party needs to hold to maximize changes, such as an open seat vacated by a congressman. Instead, gubernatorial candidate Abigail Spanberger, D-Va.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Richard Hudson, RN.C., recently told reporters that he is confident his party will win seats in the 2024 election. He said he sees 37 gleaning opportunities in Democratic-held swing districts and areas where Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

“We’re going to increase the number,” Hudson said. “We’ll get the seats, but I won’t give you a number.”

There’s one thing both sides agree on: The playing field is relatively narrow, and neither side will have a large majority after the election.

“It’s a knife fight in a dark alley for the most part,” Hudson said, reading his notes. “This is a small battlefield. We have to win in a difficult area for us.”

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By 37ci3

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