All three are potentially strong recruits in rural, conservative districts that were held by Blue Dog Democrats until 2010.

"In Dave, Pam, and Gary, the Blue Dogs have added three impressive candidates with a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility and representing the commonsense center of American politics," said Blue Dog PAC co-chairman and Rep. Jim MathesonJames (Jim) David MathesonTrump EPA eases standards for coal ash disposal Utah redistricting reform measure likely to qualify for ballot Trump's budget targets affordable, reliable power MORE (D-Utah).

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The Blue Dogs have had a rough week that caps a rough two years: Two of their remaining 25 members lost primaries in Pennsyvlania, further depleting their ranks. At their peak before the 2010 election, there were 54 Blue Dog Democrats in the House. Because of redistricting that made many vulnerable and a rash of retirements the group will struggle to even maintain its current numbers, but recruits like these are their best hope to do so.

These three join eight other candidates the Blue Dog PAC has endorsed. All 11 are either former congressmen who were in the Blue Dog Coalition or are running in districts currently or previously held by Blue Dogs.

McDowell lost to now-Rep. Dan BenishekDaniel (Dan) Joseph BenishekRepublican groups launch final ad blitz in key House battlegrounds Tea Party class reassesses record Michigan Republican to retire MORE (R-Mich.) in 2010 by 11 points and that district became a bit more Republican in redistricting, but Democrats believe the strong Republican wave year was the reason Benishek won. The seat previously was held by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), a former Blue Dog.

Crooks is running against freshman Rep. Larry BucshonLarry Dean Bucshon Trump unveils plan to help kidney patients in push to lower health costs House Republican: Disclosing drug prices in TV ads 'doesn't help the consumer very much' GOP lawmaker has 'a lot of concerns' over coverage if ObamaCare is overturned MORE (R-Ind.), who won an open seat previously held by Blue Dog Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) in 2010 by a wide margin. The district remains Republican-leaning but became friendlier to Democrats in redistricting.

Gulleson is running for an open seat currently held by Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.). Berg, who is running for the Senate, beat longtime Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) in 2010.