The Hill, 11/15/2017 - House Dems highlight promising new candidates

By Ben Kamisar

House Democrats' campaign arm has named the first round of candidates to its "Red to Blue" program as the party looks to highlight promising Democratic challengers ahead of the 2018 midterms. 

All but two of the 11 candidates highlighted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) are running against GOP incumbents.

Only three are running in districts that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won in 2016, suggesting that they face a tougher path to victory. But Democrats are emboldened by the early signs from these campaigns, as well as the national trends tilting in the party's direction, as they look to seize the House majority in 2018. 

“The House is in play in 2018 and incredible Democratic challengers are stepping up to run across the largest offensive battlefield in a decade. These candidates have their own unique experiences rooted in these districts, but what they all have in common are records of service to their communities and our country," DCCC chairman Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) said in a statement.

“It’s still early in the cycle, but there’s no question that these candidates are building strong campaigns, energizing the grassroots, and raising the resources necessary to win in tough districts."

The initial list includes some familiar faces. Former Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) is on the list — she's running against Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), assuming McSally does not run for Senate. 

There are also two Democratic candidates who ran in 2016, Nevada's Susie Lee and Minnesota's Angie Craig. Lee is running for the seat vacated by Rep. Jacky Rosen's (D-Nev.) Senate bid, while Craig is running for a rematch against Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.).

The list also includes Jason Crow, a military veteran running against Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado; Abby Finkenauer, a state lawmaker running against Rep. Rod Blum (R) in Iowa; Brendan Kelly, a local state's attorney running against Rep. Mike Bost (R) in Illinois; Paul Davis, a former state House Democratic leader running for an open seat in Kansas; Elissa Slotkin, a former Defense Department official running against Rep. Mike Bishop (R) in Michigan; Dan McCready, a green-energy businessman and veteran running against Rep. Robert Pittenger (R) in North Carolina; Anthony Brindisi, a state lawmaker running against Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) in New York; and Chrissy Houlahan, a veteran running against Rep. Ryan Costello (R) in Pennsylvania. 

As members of the program, the candidates will have access to DCCC tools to help them run their campaigns. 

Republicans have a similar program through the National Republican Congressional Committee — the party announced last month that they had named 31 "On the Radar" candidates, the first level of its three-tier program. 

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/360480-house-dem-campaign-arm-highlights-promising-new-candidates

Campaign Staff