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 ClintonDem targeted by party establishment loses Texas primary Penn to Hewitt: Mueller probe born out of ‘hysteria’ Trump claims a 'spy' on his campaign tried to help 'Crooked Hillary' win 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 LewisVulnerable GOP lawmakers have toned down tax rhetoric since January: Reuters House Republicans reserve millions in early air time GOP lawmakers describe terrifying scene at train crash MORE (R-Minn.).
 
The list also includes Jason Crow, a military veteran running against Republican Rep. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanOvernight Defense: Doubts grow over Trump, Kim summit | Lawmakers want floor debate on war measure | New cell phone policy at Pentagon Lawmakers push for House floor debate on war authorization Dems withhold support for immigration petition 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 PittengerSenate panel clears bill to bolster probes of foreign investment deals Overnight Finance: House panel to take up bill toughening review of foreign deals | Trump acknowledges Cohen payment on disclosure form | Officials set for new round of China trade talks House panel will consider bill to boost foreign investment review powers next week 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 CostellloTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan Partisan fractures in Pennsylvania’s primary 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.