House GOP campaign arm expands target list after brutal night for Dems

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) expanded its offensive target list Wednesday morning following Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s loss in Virginia’s gubernatorial contest and a much closer-than-expected race in New Jersey that was too close to call.

The newest additions to the House Republicans’ target list are Reps. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.), Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), Frank Mrvan (D-Ind.), David Trone (D-Md.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.), Teresa Leger-Fernandez (D-N.M.), Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.).

“In a cycle like this, no Democrat is safe,” said NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.). “Voters are rejecting Democrat policies that have caused massive price increases, opened our borders and spurred a nationwide crime wave.”

The expanded target list comes after Republicans sailed to victory up and down the ballot in Virginia.

Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), while lieutenant governor candidate Winsome Sears and attorney general candidate Jason Miyares defeated their respective Democratic opponents. On top of that, Republicans appear to be on track to gain control of the House of Delegates. 

In New Jersey, the race between incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli is neck and neck in that state’s governor’s race, but the closeness of the contest in the blue state has Democrats on edge. 

The wins in Virginia, which is usually seen as a bellwether for the 2022 midterms, represented a sharp rebuke of President Biden and an embrace of Youngkin’s messaging on a number of key issues. Youngkin zeroed in particularly on the issues of parental rights and education-related issues during the campaign as Loudoun County in the northern part of the state became the epicenter of the nationwide debate on the issue.

Youngkin did not win Loudoun County but outperformed former President Trump in the district. Wexton, whose district includes parts of Loudoun, was among the Democrats added to the target list.

The campaign arm for Democrats in a statement said Republicans should not be so confident that the Virginia defeat is a precursor to Republicans winning back the House. 

“The NRCC is mistaken if they think they can easily emulate a campaign that skipped a messy GOP primary, had no political record to defend, and routinely kept President Trump at arm’s length,” said Chris Taylor, a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“We have a year until the midterm elections, and on top of passing historic legislation that includes game-changing investments in our infrastructure and working families, Democrats are working to ensure battleground voters understand the grave danger that House Republicans and their extremism present to not only our families, but our democracy,” Taylor said.

Tags Ann Kuster Darren Soto David Trone Donald Trump Ed Perlmutter G.K. Butterfield Greg Stanton Jennifer Wexton Jim Cooper Joe Biden Joe Courtney Madeleine Dean Tom Emmer

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