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Alright all; you are probably clicking here because you were linked. I started this feature in mid-January and we’ve had some changes and new posts. This blog post should be seen strictly as a database of candidates who we feel you should support in the upcoming 2014 mid-term elections. It will be constantly updating so keep your eyes on this space.
But what I suggest all of you to do is “like” these candidates on Facebook or “follow” them on Twitter. No, social media fans do not equate to electoral success but I find it best that some of us become better acquainted with the people who could very well start swinging the House to the Democratic side. It won’t be easy, especially in a midterm, but hey; it’s possible.
Michele Bachmann – Minnesota’s 6th congressional district
Our first edition of Taking Back The House involved the infamous Michele Bachmann. At the time, I thought the Bachmann seat would be the hardest to swing over given the red tint of her district and the fact that even though she underperforms in this district, it would take a lot for her to get unseated.
But since that mid-January night I wrote the blog, some updates have happened. Mainly, Bachmann announced she would be retiring. Since the district is safely Republican, we are no longer following the race that closely. However, I will keep the post up for archival sake.
Mike Coffman – Colorado’s 6th congressional district
Unlike Bachmann’s seat, this seat has been made very helpful to Democrats in terms of swinging it to blue. In fact, with the exception of one other seat, I would take a guess by saying this is the most likely seat Democrats will get in 2014. Not a certainty, but its a really good bet.
In late January, we suggested Morgan Carroll as our candidate of choice. However, she announced she would not go to D.C. and Andrew Romanoff stepped to the plate. If Romanoff’s name sounds familiar, it might because you remember his failed 2010 bid against appointed incumbent Michael Bennet for one of Colorado’s Senate seat.
Romanoff is an experienced politician who was the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives from 2005 to 2008. Romanoff is the most likely candidate to be the nominee and he appears to be as good as a get as we can expect.
Rodney Davis – Illinois’s 13th congressional district
One of the most pure tossups in the nation could very well be Illinois’s 13th congressional district which is represented by freshman Republican Rodney Davis. Davis doesn’t have as much of a record as most of the other candidates but he will still be a prime target for the DCCC.
David Gill, a doctor and nearly perennial candidate who has unsuccessfully run for office four times (including 2012) does not appear to be running again.
However after a vigorous recruitment by the DCCC, Judge Ann Callis announced that she would run for the seat. She should be considered the favored Democratic choice though Professor George Gollin has also announced a candidacy. We are going to give Callis our support in this race.
DONATE TO ANN CALLIS’S CAMPAIGN
Gary Miller – California’s 31st congressional district
We should all know by now that there are no such things as “slam dunks” in politics but if the Democrats can’t turn this seat to blue then 2014 will be a disastrous year. Longtime Rep. Gary Miller was able to return to Congress for another election after redistricting made him pursue a blue seat. This district is a healthy blue and Miller, if he elects to run again, will be in the fight of his life.
The reason why Miller won in 2012 was due to the California “top-two” system in which the top-two vote getters in the primary, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Unluckily for Democrats, two Republicans made it to November.
This time though the Democrats will hopefully learn from their mistakes as DCCC backed candidate Pete Aguilar is giving it another go after finishing 3rd in 2012. Aguilar is the establishment choice but he is joined by ex-Rep. Joe Baca and attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes. We have given our support to Aguilar.
Still, get to learn the candidates more.
Michael Grimm – New York’s 11th congressional district
Michael Grimm, in the midst of his second term in Congress, is another candidate who could very well be endangered come November of 2014.
Councilman Domenic Recchia announced a run earlier in the year and is getting DCCC support. With his support from the establishment, its unlikely another suitable challenger steps forward. He has our support.
DONATE TO DOMENIC RECCHIA’S CAMPAIGN
David Valadao – California’s 21st congressional district
Back to California, again! Still this seat, which is winnable, hadn’t received much buzz and local Democrats appeared to be frustrated at the lack of big name recruits.
The Democrats appear though to be coalescing around Amanda Renteria though 2012 challenger John Hernandez is throwing his hat into the ring again. Renteria could play well given the district’s Hispanic base but turnout will be key. Renteria has some DCCC support and that is good enough for us.
DONATE TO AMANDA RENTERIA’S CAMPAIGN
Steve Southerland – Florida’s 2nd congressional district
Well it was yesterday’s addition but still, a huge pickup opportunity for Democrats as they have a prized recruit in Gwen Graham, daughter of former Governor and Senator Bob Graham.
Unlike 2012 nominee Alfred Lawson, expect Graham to be a big-time fundraiser who could really bring voters to the booth thanks to the popularity of her family’s name and her personal accomplishments. Graham has the backing of the DCCC and while he considered it, Al Lawson decided not to enter the fray which is great news.
DONATE TO GWEN GRAHAM’S CAMPAIGN
Kerry Bentivolio – Michigan’s 11th congressional district
Bentivolio is a tremendously flawed candidate, with minimal fundraising ability and a colorful backstory, but the lack of finding a Democrat here and the likelihood that a normal Republican primaries Bentivolio makes this hard.
After this post was created, Bentivolio received a primary challenger for the Republican nomination in David Trott. The Democrats finally appeared to have found a candidate in ex-State Department official Bobby McKenzie who appears to be the DCCC’s choice after other candidates decided not to run.
DONATE TO BOBBY MCKENZIE’S CAMPAIGN
Chris Gibson – New York’s 19th congressional district
Gibson is one of the more vulnerable incumbents and as he tries to earn a third term, he will be facing against wealthy investor and marriage equality activist, Sean Eldridge who will likely be a big-time fundraiser and will rake in plenty of money.
DONATE TO SEAN ELDRIDGE’S CAMPAIGN
Jeff Denham – California’s 10th congressional district
Denham is running for a third term while simultaneously running for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor. Denham faces off against DCCC-backed challenger Michael Eggman who is a beekeeper and the brother of a state representative.
DONATE TO MICHAEL EGGMAN’S CAMPAIGN
Joe Heck – Nevada’s 3rd congressional district
Heck is running for a third term in this swing-y Nevada district. Running against Heck for the Democrats is Erin Bilbray-Kohn, a political trainer, who has deep ties to the area as her father was a Congressman in the 90s. Bilbray has DCCC backing and looks to be one of the more competitive races on the docket.
DONATE TO ERIN BILBRAY’S CAMPAIGN
Dan Benishek – Michigan’s 1st congressional district
Benishek is in his second term in the House of Representatives and this ancestrally Democratic district has a shot of going back to blue.
The Democrats seem to be pretty excited about their top recruit Jerry Cannon who entered the race in the later portion of the summer. Cannon’s military history could help him in this district in which Benishek has underperformed since his election.
DONATE TO JERRY CANNON’S CAMPAIGN
Tim Walberg – Michigan’s 7th congressional district
Walberg is in his second term in the House of Representatives and this swing-ish district could be a big get for the Democratic Party. It appears that Democrats will settle on a great recruit in former state senator Pam Byrnes. Byrnes will be much more competitive than previous Walberg challengers.
DONATE TO PAM BYRNES’S CAMPAIGN
Lee Terry – Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district
Terry has been serving this district since 1999 and continues to eke out fairly close margins of victories. Nebraska isn’t known as a state that is easy for Democrats but keep in mind this was the district that Obama won (Nebraska issues electoral votes out separately by district) and includes Omaha.
After the government shutdown, Omaha City Councilman Pete Festersen decided to act now and ran after previously declining a bid. Keep your eyes on this one folks.
DONATE TO PETE FESTERSEN’S CAMPAIGN
Tom Reed – New York’s 23rd congressional district
Reed is in his second term in the House, representing a swing district in New York. Reed faced a not well-funded candidate last year in Nate Shinagawa but surprisingly barely edged out the young Democrat.
Shinagawa elected not to run again opening the door for Martha Robertson, a definite credible candidate. Shinagawa and the DCCC have both endorsed Robertson and this is another race that you should be keen on.
DONATE TO MARTHA ROBERTSON’S CANDIDATE
Mike Fitzpatrick – Pennsylvania’s 8th District
Mike Fitzpatrick has been representing the 8th district in Pennsylvania since 2010 though its actually his second go-around in Congress. Fitzpatrick previously held this seat from 2005 to 2007, being ousted by Patrick Murphy in 2006, before winning the seat back in 2010.
Fitzpatrick faces two potential Democratic challengers in DCCC-backed candidate Kevin Strouse and scientist Shaughnessy Naughton.
Virginia’s 10th congressional district – OPEN
The big news out of Virginia was certainly shocking as popular Republican (it exists) Frank Wolf decided to retire instead of run for another term. While the 10th district resides in the blue Northern Virginia section, it is probably one of the more conservative areas in that region.
Still the Democrats have a shot here. Especially with Fairfax County supervisor John Foust in the race.
DONATE TO JOHN FOUST’S CAMPAIGN
Iowa’s 3rd congressional district – OPEN
On the same day that Virginia’s 10th district was open, Republican Tom Latham surprised the political world by also announcing his retirement. Latham had done a very good job in batting down credible Democratic opponents in the past but with an open race; the Democrats have a shot at taking the seat back.
As of now, former state senator Staci Appel is the lone Democrat in the race. She is a pretty progressive option which is great for us, though we will see if anyone else is now open to taking the plunge. Keep your eye on Appel though.
DONATE TO STACI APPEL’S CAMPAIGN
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