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House Dems highlight promising new candidates

House Dems highlight promising new candidates
© Greg Nash

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 ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts report Warner attempted to talk to dossier author Poll: Nearly half of Iowans wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2020 Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’ MORE 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."
 
 
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 LewisJason Mark LewisGOP lawmakers describe terrifying scene at train crash No criminal activity suspected in train accident One killed after train carrying GOP lawmakers hits truck in Virginia MORE (R-Minn.).
 
The list also includes Jason Crow, a military veteran running against Republican Rep. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanVulnerable GOP incumbent returns Meehan donations GOP lawmaker proposes bill to grant residency for Salvadoran immigrants Gold Star father attacked by Trump steps up role in Dem primaries MORE 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 BostMichael (Mike) J. BostMORE (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 PittengerRobert Miller PittengerSeven primary races to watch in 2018 Lawmakers urge Tillerson to declassify Qatar counterterrorism agreement GOP’s 2018 strategy: Keep focus on Pelosi MORE (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 CostelloRyan Anthony CostellloOvernight Health Care: Blue Cross Blue Shield sees 'urgent' need to stabilize ObamaCare markets | Trump official calls Medicaid work requirements 'true compassion' | British PM defends universal health system after Trump attacks Blue Cross Blue Shield sees 'urgent' need for Congress to stabilize ObamaCare markets Supreme Court denies GOP request to block Pennsylvania gerrymandering decision MORE (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.