California Dems endorse three candidates in pivotal House races

California Dems endorse three candidates in pivotal House races

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Three Democratic candidates running in top-tier House races in 2018 landed highly coveted endorsements from the California Democratic Party.

The candidates getting the stamp of approval from the state party are all running in GOP-held seats that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGraham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump Fox News poll shows Dems with edge ahead of midterms Poll: Democrats in position to retake the House MORE won in 2016. They’re seen as top races for Democrats to win as they look to flip 24 seats to take back the House.

The candidates who scored endorsements are Dave Min, who’s running against Rep. Mimi Walters (R); Hans Keirstead, who’s challenging Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherGOP lawmaker makes light of Kavanaugh allegation: 'Give me a break' Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls Overnight Energy: Watchdog to investigate EPA over Hurricane Harvey | Panel asks GAO to expand probe into sexual harassment in science | States sue over methane rules rollback MORE (R); and Emilio Huerta, who’s looking to unseat Rep. David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoDems make big play for House in California Immigration overhaul on life support in the House The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R).

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The endorsements give candidates a big boost of momentum to stand out among their crowded fields ahead of the June 5 primaries. Democrats have seen a surge of candidates interested in running for Congress since President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE took office.

At the state party’s annual convention in San Diego, those three candidates were able to get the 60 percent of votes needed to land the endorsement.

But tensions were high in the Walters district as Min’s opponents sought to block his endorsement. His rivals were able to collect the 300 signatures needed to do so and forced a floor fight that played out at the convention Sunday morning.

Those who supported and opposed Min’s endorsement were given the chance to deliver one-minute speeches. But after a voice vote, state party chairman Eric Bauman said that more delegates supported Min.

A similar effort played out in the Rohrabacher district. Kierstead’s opponents tried to collect the signatures needed, but didn’t meet the 11 p.m. deadline on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, in the other four GOP-held seats that Clinton carried, there will be no state party endorsements since no candidate reached the 60-percent threshold.

Those are the seats held by GOP Reps. Steve Knight, Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamTrump attacks Dems on farm bill House Republicans push for vote on Violence Against Women Act Steyer group launching 0,000 digital ad campaign targeting millennials MORE, Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceOvernight Defense: Latest on Korea talks | Trump says summit results 'very exciting!' | Congress to get Space Force plan in February | Trump asked CIA about silent bombs Poll: House GOP candidate leads in California swing district Overnight Defense: Congress reaches deal preventing shutdown | Pentagon poised to be funded on time for first time in years | House GOP rejects effort to get Putin summit documents MORE and Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaTrump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency Overnight Energy: Watchdog to investigate EPA over Hurricane Harvey | Panel asks GAO to expand probe into sexual harassment in science | States sue over methane rules rollback Green group targets California GOP House candidates in new ads MORE. Both Royce and Issa opted not to run for reelection in 2018.

Beyond those seven races, Democrats are also targeting several other House seats in California that are considered more of a reach.

In those races, the party endorsed Jessica Morse, who’s running against Rep. Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockElection Countdown: Takeaways from too-close-to-call Ohio special election | Trump endorsements cement power but come with risks | GOP leader's race now rated as 'toss-up' | Record numbers of women nominated | Latino candidates get prominent role in 2020 GOP scrambles to regain fiscal credibility with House budget House panel approves belated 2019 budget MORE (R); Andrew Janz, who’s challenging Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesRussia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election Gowdy: House Intel panel should release all transcripts from Russia probe MORE (R); and Ammar Campa-Najjar, who’s looking to take on Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterIndicted lawmaker angers GOP with decision to run for reelection Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency Indicted GOP lawmaker to stay on ballot in New York this fall: report MORE (R).