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 complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton responds to Trump tweets telling Dem lawmakers to 'go back' to their countries The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur: Here's how to choose a president 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 LewisRepublicans must push through genuine health care reform Investigation concludes marijuana, medication impaired driver involved in GOP train crash The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE (R-Minn.).
 
The list also includes Jason Crow, a military veteran running against Republican Rep. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanKoch political arm endorses Colorado Sen. Gardner 20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform Denver Post editorial board says Gardner endorsement was 'mistake' 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 PittengerBottom Line North Carolina reporter says there could be 'new crop' of GOP candidates in 9th Congressional District race North Carolina board calls for new election in contested House race 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 CostellloHead of Pennsylvania GOP resigns over alleged explicit texts Lobbying world Overnight Energy: Park Service closing Joshua Tree after shutdown damage | Dems deliver trash from parks to White House | Dems offer bills to block offshore drilling | Oil lobby worries about Trump trade fight 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.