DCCC unveils initial dozen candidates for 'Red to Blue' program

DCCC unveils initial dozen candidates for 'Red to Blue' program
© Greg Nash

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) unveiled on Tuesday a list of a dozen candidates who it believes are best positioned to either hold or flip competitive districts in 2020.

The list includes several Democratic candidates in 2018 who came up short in the general election, such as Gina Ortiz Jones, who narrowly lost to Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Key impeachment witness retires | Duckworth presses for information | Subpanel advances defense measure | Democrats press for end to military transgender ban Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - States are pausing reopening MORE (R-Texas) last cycle; Hiral Tiperneni, who lost to Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.); Dan Feehan, who was defeated by Rep. Jim HagedornJames Lee HagedornTime to look at both sides of the medical ledger Minnesota congressman diagnosed with cancer House GOP introduces bill to secure voter registration systems against foreign hacking MORE (R-Minn.); Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, who lost to Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response State and local officials beg Congress to send more election funds ahead of November The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases MORE (R-Ill.); and Carolyn Long, who was defeated by Rep. Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerHispanic Caucus endorses Washington Latina House candidate Cornell to launch new bipartisan publication led by former Rep. Steve Israel Campaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis MORE (R-Wash.).

New additions to the list include Rita Hart in Iowa’s 2nd District, Christina Hale in Indiana’s 5th District, Jackie Gordon in New York’s 2nd District, Eugene DePasquale in Pennsylvania’s 10th District, Jill Schupp in Missouri’s 2nd District and Wendy Davis in Texas’s 21st District.

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The committee is also backing Christy Smith, who's running to replace former Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillGaetz tweets photo of teenage adopted son after hearing battle The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The American Investment Council - Trump takes his 'ready to reopen' mantra on the road The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrat concedes in California House race MORE (D) in California's 25th District in a special election. 

The list of candidates, part of the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program, comes as Democrats find themselves playing defense in 2020. The party flipped 43 House seats in 2018 in a wave election that saw Democrats recapture a majority in the chamber. 

“The strength of our candidates matters, and these 12 local leaders have shown they have what it takes to win the trust of their voters and earn their votes,” Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosTime for a Democratic reckoning on race  Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push GOP pulls support from California House candidate over 'unacceptable' social media posts MORE (D-Ill.), the chairwoman of the DCCC, said in a statement. “For that reason, I am proud to add them to our battle-tested Red to Blue program.”

Reps. Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarHispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs Dozens of Democrats plan to vote remotely in a first for the House Biden rolls out over a dozen congressional endorsements after latest primary wins MORE (D-Calif.), A. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinSanders-Biden climate task force calls for carbon-free power by 2035 House Democrats seek to codify environmental inequality mapping tool  House coronavirus bill aims to prevent utility shutoffs MORE (D-Va.) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) will serve as co-chairpeople of the “Red to Blue” program, Bustos said.

--Updated at 10:31 a.m.