Oct 13, 2011

Democratic Candidates Put the House In Play

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee now has strong candidates running in 60 Republican and open districts, reaching its recruitment goal for the year and putting in play more than twice the 25 seats needed to gain the majority. The newest recruits continue to reflect the values of their districts and have both traditional and non-traditional profiles including farmers, small business men and women, former Mayors, prosecutors, veterans and even an astronaut. As part of the “Drive to 25” campaign to win the House, the DCCC had pledged to put at least 60 Republican and open seats in play for the year but reached this benchmark three months early.

Two new polls out yesterday show voters want to elect Democrats to Congress next November. According to the new Reuters/Ipsos poll voters would support a Democratic candidate over a Republican candidate in their district by 8 points (48 percent – 40 percent). A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress to a Republican-controlled Congress by 4 points (45 percent – 41 percent).

“With the wind now at our backs, we have strong Democratic candidates running in 60 Republican and open districts across the country, putting twice as many seats in play as Democrats need to take the House,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel. “Thanks to the work of DCCC Recruiting Committee Chairwoman Allyson Schwartz and others, we have reached our recruitment goals for this year—ahead of schedule—and have excellent candidates running with profiles that fit their districts. Buyer’s remorse has set in with Independent voters across the country who are rejecting the Republican agenda that ends Medicare and fails to create jobs while protecting special interests and the ultra wealthy at the expense of the middle class and seniors.”

Highlighted Democratic Candidates

CA-10:  Jose Hernandez (v. Representative Denham)

“A California native who grew up picking vegetables with his migrant parents and then soared over the same fields as an astronaut aboard the International Space Station announced plans Tuesday to run for Congress in the state's newly formed 10th District.  Jose Hernandez told a crowd of about 75 people outside Modesto's City Hall that he was proof the American dream was still alive. "I went from plowshares to the stars," Hernandez said with his wife beside him. […] Hernandez, who has never held office, will face freshman lawmaker Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, if no other Democrat files. Voter registration in the district, which includes Stanislaus County and the southern San Joaquin County, gives Democrats an advantage of 42 percent versus 37 percent.” [AP, 10/11/11]

OK-02: Rob Wallace (OPEN)

“A former LeFlore County district attorney and assistant U.S. Attorney announced Tuesday he will seek the District 2 seat in the U.S. Congress.  Rob Wallace, a Democrat, will hold a formal campaign kickoff later this year.  “Now more than ever we need leaders in Congress with a single-minded focus on jobs,” Rob Wallace said. I will do everything in my power to help Oklahoma’s economy.”  Wallace touts his extensive experience as a prosecutor.” [News on 6, 10/11/11]

IN-09: Jonathan George (v. Representative Todd Young)

“Retired Brig. Gen. Jonathan D. George may be Democrats’ best chance to reclaim the 9th District seat that Rep. Baron Hill lost to Republican Todd Young in the GOP's 2010 sweep of the House.  George is a former top Air Force officer who led transition efforts in Afghanistan and most recently served on the National Security Council. He and his family have maintained a small farm near Bedford about 65 miles southwest of Indianapolis, and he returned to the farm full-time in August after retiring from the military.” [AP, 10/10/11]

FL-13: Keith Fitzgerald (v. Representative Vern Buchanan)

“Former Democratic state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald today announced he will run against incumbent Republican Vern Buchanan for his congressional seat. Fitzgerald said he is running because he believes political leaders have “failed miserably” in standing up for American families, creating jobs, lowering the deficit, and honoring seniors by protecting Social Security and Medicare. Fitzgerald, 54, a New College of Florida professor, pledged to run his campaign and to serve in Congress with honesty and integrity.” [Bradenton Herald, 10/06/11]

WI-08: Jamie Wall (v. Representative Reid Ribble)
“Frustrated with what he sees as a “mess” in Washington, Green Bay business consultant Jamie Wall is launching a bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Sherwood, who serves the 8th Congressional District. “Congress is broken,” Wall told The Post-Crescent. “It’s time for members of Congress to act like adults instead of squabbling children (and) focus on the issues that matter more than anything to the people who sent them to Washington, which is the economy and jobs.” [Appleton Post-Crescent, 10/5/11]

MN-08 (v. Representative Chip Cravaack)

Jeff Anderson. Jeff Anderson, a member of the Duluth City Council since 2007, will seek the DFL nomination for the U.S. House from the northern Minnesota 8th District in 2012. That means he will be running for the nomination against former state Sen. Tarryl Clark and seeking to challenge the sitting congressman, Chip Cravaack.” [Minn Post, 5/25/11]

Rick Nolan. “Rick Nolan, the former three-term congressman from the 6th District, is expected to make his bid for the 8th District official Wednesday in news conferences throughout the district.  Born and raised in Brainerd, Nolan said Tuesday he wants to rebuild America’s middle class by restoring good-paying jobs so there’ll be a market for corporate America’s products. Creation of such a market, he said, will encourage businesses to invest in equipment and hiring.[…] Nolan faulted incumbent Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., for backing Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which he said would turn Medicare into a voucher system.” [Brainerd Dispatch, 7/12/11]

Daniel Fanning. “Daniel Fanning, an Iraq war veteran and former staffer to U.S. Sen. Al Franken, has joined the Democratic race to unseat freshman Republican Chip Cravaack in northern Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.  Fanning told the Duluth News Tribune in a story published today that he's witnessed a lack of enthusiasm among Democrats for their other choices.” [Twin Cities Press, 10/5/11]

Tarryl Clark. “Tarryl Clark, who tried to unseat Michele Bachmann from Congress in 2010, wants to take on Chip Cravaack in 2012. Clark told the News Tribune on Saturday that she is filing papers with the Federal Elections Commission to seek the Democratic nomination for the 8th District seat and will send an e-mail and video to supporters on Monday announcing her intentions. […] Without mentioning Cravaack by name, Clark signaled the attack. ‘We’ve got some in Congress who seem to be out there hurting Medicare and Social Security and aren’t doing a thing about creating jobs,’ she said.” [Duluth News Tribune, 5/8/11]

ND-AL: Pam Gulleson (OPEN)

“Pam Gulleson has had a diverse career, but she hasn’t really strayed far from her rural roots in southeastern North Dakota. […]  Among other roles, the mother of three sons has been a nutritionist, a farmer, a rancher, a legislator, an educator, a political director and a policy adviser. At 53, Gulleson now wants to take her skills from the country to the nation’s capital, pledging to be rural America’s advocate if elected to the U.S. House next fall.“Out here on the prairie, we are close to the men and women who get up every morning and go to work to build a better life for their families,” Gulleson said. [The Jamestown Sun, 9/24/11]

OH-03: Mary Jo Kilroy (OPEN)

“I plan to seek the Democratic nomination for the new congressional seat in Franklin County, Ohio. I am running because our community needs a strong voice in Washington, who will remain focused on jobs, and will work to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security from Republicans. […] I will demand more accountability from Wall Street and better protections for consumers, like my work on the Wall Street reform bill and my votes to protect you from abusive practices of credit card companies. [Kilroy for Congress, 9/21/11]

CA-45:  Raul Ruiz (v. Representative Mary Bono Mack)

“He’s not a politician but a physician who says as a Coachella native he has his fingers on the pulse of the needs of the community. Promising to be a representative who revives the American dream of prosperity for all, Dr. Raul Ruiz made his candidacy to unseat incumbent Rep. Mary Bono Mack, a Republican from Palm Springs, official Sunday. […] The son of immigrant farm workers who lived in a trailer in Coachella and went on to graduate from UCLA and Harvard, Ruiz recalled growing up in a valley “alive with hope and promise.” [Desert Sun, 9/19/11]

MI-01: Gary McDowell (v. Representative Dan Benishek)

“Former Democratic state Rep. Gary McDowell, of Rudyard, announced his plans to challenge 1st Congressional District Congressman Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls. […] “No one in Washington is looking out for regular people in Northern Michigan and the (Upper Peninsula),” McDowell said, in a statement. “…Republicans don’t care what happens to people like us who have to work for a living.” McDowell said Benishek has “quickly become part of the problem” citing his vote for Paul Ryan’s budget plan as a method to end Medicare, among other votes he says go against Northern Michigan's economic interests such as a vote by Benishek to end essential airport service to rural airports in his district.” [Petosky News, 9/14/11]

WV-01: Mike Oliverio (v. Representative David McKinley)

“The Morgantown Democrat is announcing his candidacy for the 1st District seat held by Republican David McKinley today. […]  “I just still believe, as I did the last time, that Washington’s broken. Partisan bickering and fighting is not serving the public’s best interests. We have to get beyond that and try to help put people back to work,” Oliverio said. “I can’t imagine a higher priority today than trying to put people back to work and creating jobs. ... That doesn’t seem to be what the top priority is in Washington right now.” Another motivating factor is his strong showing last time, he said.”  [Dominion Post, 09/06/11]

TX-23: Pete Gallego (v. Representative Canseco)

“A longtime state representative said he plans to file papers today to run for a vast congressional district that stretches from San Antonio to El Paso. State Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, was elected to the Texas House in 1990. He has served in the Democratic leadership, as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus for 10 years and as co-founder of the House Democratic Campaign Committee. Gallego said he’s grown frustrated with the federal system’s partisan gridlock. “We’ve got to tone it down,” he said. “… I think we need to start electing more people who put patriotism before partisanship.” [My San Antonio, 9/1/11]

NY-19: Richard Becker (v. Representative Hayworth)

“Town of Cortlandt councilman Richard Becker announced his candidacy against Representative Nan Hayworth in an exclusive interview with The Daily Cortlandt.  The democratic councilman will run against freshman Republican Hayworth for her seat in the House of Representatives for the 19th District of New York.  […] Becker said Hayworth has cast "a string of votes" that put "political ideology ahead of jobs." Hayworth is also a medical doctor. But, Becker said as a doctor, "I can tell you the medicine Nan's been dispensing in Washington has been bad for local job creation, bad for our local economy, and bad for Hudson Valley seniors." If he runs and is elected, Becker said he intends to be "an independent congressman who puts Hudson Valley jobs before Washington's ideological wars and ensures the continued success of Medicare for our seniors." [The Daily Cortlandt, 9/3/11; Midhudson News, 6/27/11]

CA-26 (v. Representative Elton Gallegly)

David Pollock. “One candidate for Congress officially threw his hat into the ring on Thursday […] Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock, a former president of the California School Boards Association, announced he will be a Democratic candidate in the new 26th Congressional District, which takes in nearly all of Ventura County except for most of the city of Simi Valley.” [Ventura County Star, 8/4/11]

David Cruz Thayne. “I'm very excited to share with you that I am officially a candidate for Congress. I’m running because our country is in crisis, and the people of Ventura County need a real, independent voice in Washington.  I’m running in District 26, a new district that has no incumbent member of Congress living in it and encompasses most of Ventura County. […] Our country is at a critical crossroads. Economic insecurity, a rapidly aging population, threats to America’s competitive stature, a changed and evolving healthcare system – these 21st Century problems can’t be solved with more politics as usual.” [David Thayne for Congress, Accessed 10/12/11]

NY-25: Dan Maffei (v. Representative Ann Marie Buerkle)

“Former U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei plans to end months of speculation today and declare his candidacy for the 25th Congressional District seat, nine months after he lost it in one of the closest House races in the nation. […] Maffei said he will enter the race early, more than 14 months before the next election, because he said Central New Yorkers have grown frustrated with Buerkle and her fellow conservative Republicans. “Ann Marie Buerkle has had eight months to show some sort of willingness to compromise and get things done for the district or the country, and she remains as radical as ever," Maffei said.” [The Post-Standard, 8/24/11]

NH-01 (v. Representative Frank Guinta)

Andrew Hosmer. “A third Democrat, Andrew Hosmer of Laconia, has joined the 2012 congressional primary hoping to unseat first-term Republican congressman Frank Guinta of Manchester. Hosmer said Republicans took over Congress last November and have done little to stimulate job growth during this sluggish economy. […] Hosmer, a 47-year-old automobile dealer, claimed Guinta has become too cozy with Wall Street and Big Oil company executives. If elected, Hosmer said he would support raising taxes on these interests and would pursue comprehensive tax reform to help working families.” [Nashua Telegraph, 8/9/11]

Joanne Dowdell. “Dowdell, a first-time candidate, described herself yesterday as a progressive Democrat whose career as an investment firm executive has given her experience to address fiscal issues. She said she decided to run for Congress because she believes federal officeholders are not doing their job.  “Washington politicians have been making life harder for families here in New Hampshire and throughout the country,” Dowdell said. [Concord Monitor, 4/29/11]

Carol Shea-Porter. “Citing frustration with Republican policies since the 112th Congress started in January, Shea-Porter made her reelection campaign intentions public Thursday with an email that accused the GOP of hurting average Americans. “Our current Congress is passing legislation that will hurt average Americans, and they are bowing to special interests instead of focusing on job creation and good government,” Shea-Porter wrote in email sent to supporters and the media. [Nashua Telegraph, 4/14/11]

NV-NEW  (3 Districts)

Ruben Kihuen. “The entertainment and the crowd at Ruben Kihuen’s official Democratic congressional campaign kick-off last week demonstrated the Hispanic favorite son’s support in the minority community. Inside Rancho High School, where a teenage Kihuen once reigned as prom king and soccer star, more than 300 people gathered. Relatives and friends mixed with community and minority leaders who have already pledged to back the state senator’s U.S. House bid.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/3/11]

John Lee. “Democratic state Sen. John Lee announced Monday a future U.S. House bid, adding his name to a growing group of Nevada politicians running for Congress in 2012 without knowing which voting district they must campaign in. [..]  “I am critical of the direction that the country is going in, naturally. I am not saying Congress has created every problem, but we are running out of short-term fixes. These are long-term problems.” [CT Post, 8/1/11]

John Oceguera. “The 2012 congressional race in Southern Nevada lurched into gear when Assembly Speaker John Oceguera announced on Monday his candidacy, though for which House seat remains uncertain […] Oceguera, who lives in the current 3rd Congressional District, appears to be gearing up to challenge Heck. […] During the legislative session, Oceguera reached out to Republicans during budget talks. He also pushed through education reforms, including some that other Democrats resisted.” [Las Vegas Review Journal, 7/18/11]

Dina Titus. “Dina Titus is running for Congress in a yet-to-be-named district of Nevada. […] I have been proud to serve Nevada, stand up for working families, and fight back against Wall Street banks that have walked away with billions while our communities suffer,” Titus said in her statement. “It is clear that Southern Nevadans are still hurting and need someone who will do what’s right for them.” […] Titus summarized her platform as three key priorities: helping Nevada homeowners avoid foreclosure, investing in the renewable energy sector to create jobs and working to protect Medicare and Social Security.” [Las Vegas Sun, 7/19/11]

Steven Horsford. “State Democratic Majority Leader Steven Horsford will run for the U.S. House in a bid that could see Nevada elect its first African-American congressman. […] He was elected to the state Senate in a heavily Democratic, North Las Vegas-based district in 2004 and became the state's first black majority leader in 2008.  His ascension to one of Nevada's most powerful posts is notable in this western state, where black voters complain of disenfranchisement. When he became majority leader, he was the fourth black to serve as a senator since the Nevada Legislature first convened in 1864.” [AP, 10/12/11]

CA-41: Mark Takano (OPEN)

“Riverside Community College Board Trustee Mark Takano wants to be a Member of Congress. […] Takano cited unemployment as his motivation.  “Over 13% of our friends and neighbors are out of work and a staggering number of local residents are struggling to keep their homes,” Takano said. […]  A lifelong resident of Riverside, Mark Takano (pictured) was elected to the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees in 1990 and won re-election to the board in 1995, 1999, 2004 and 2008. [..]  As a trustee he has championed reform of secondary education, emphasizing Early College High Schools and more opportunities for career and technical education. Takano has worked as a classroom teacher in the Rialto Unified School District for the past 23 years.” [InstantRiverside, 7/1/11]

IL-10 (v. Representative Robert Dold)

Ilya Sheyman. “A community organizer from Waukegan says he’s officially a candidate for the 10th District Congressional seat in the 2012 election. […] Sheyman says he can defeat Dold by focusing on his opponent's tea party agenda. He says Dold has “failed to represent the interests of the 10th District’s working families in Washington.” Sheyman says he’s served as national mobilization director for MoveOn.org and a field director for Democracy for America. [Chicago Daily Herald, 4/28/11]

Brad Schneider. “Schneider, a father of two and owner of Cadence Consulting Group and Lead Out Capital Partners, noted in a news release that “while much has changed in the 32 years since the 10th was last represented by a Democrat, too many of the challenges we face today are still the same as in 1979. Whether it is the economy and jobs, education, the environment, or energy independence, we need a new, better approach. Through his experience in management consulting, he said, he knows “firsthand what it takes to grow a business and create quality, long-term jobs.” [Chicago Daily Herald 5/25/11]

IN-08 (v. Representative Larry Bucshon)

Dave Crooks. “The DLC Media owner and president said he “will run a campaign focused on the needs of Indiana’s middle class and ending the destructive partisan atmosphere in Washington, D.C. “I’m running to make sure southern and western Indiana has a representative who stands up for good-paying jobs, affordable health insurance and quality education, not cutting Medicare and shutting down the government on a whim.” Crooks, also known as “The Voice of the Hatchets,” spent 12 years in the state legislature, where he worked to open up coverage of the General Assembly on the web and increased penalties for those who steal valuable metals and gas from small business owners.” [Washington Times Herald 5/6/11]

Patrick Scates. “Patrick Scates announced Monday he will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat. “After many conversations with Hoosiers from all across Indiana and with the love and support of my family, I am excited to announce I am running for Congress,” Scates said. “At a time when Hoosiers are struggling to find work, businesses are cutting back or closing their doors altogether, and the American Dream is slipping away for so many, Congress has become completely ineffective….Scates was born in Evansville. He was raised on his family’s farm near Carmi, Ill.In 2005, he worked as an advisor in the U.S. Senate run for then-Senator Barack Obama, eventually becoming a senior aide to Congressman Brad Ellsworth.” [The Brazil Times 10/4/11]

FL-22 (v. Representative Allen West)

Patrick Murphy. “Murphy and Frankel have both filed for the seat of freshman U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, a national tea party celebrity and contribution magnet who raised $6.4 million for his 2010 campaign. Murphy said the ascendancy of the tea party led him to make a formal break with the GOP. “I’ve been voting as a Democrat for many years and once I saw the extreme elements in the tea party, I switched my official party ticket,” Murphy said. [The Palm Beach Post, 3/23/11]

Lois Frankel. “Term-limited West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel announced today that she’s running for the congressional seat of freshman U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, setting up what could be yet another expensive, nationally watched race in Palm Beach-Broward District 22. Democrat Frankel said she’ll focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” [The Palm Beach Post, 3/21/11]

Additionally, the DCCC previously highlighted the following candidates:

FL-25. Luis Garcia (v. Representative David Rivera). [Miami Herald, 7/20/11]

IA-04: Christie Vilsack (v. Representative Steve King). [DesMoines Register, 7/19/11]

PA-06: Manan Trivedi (v. Representative Jim Gerlach). [The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/19/11]

VA-02: Paul Hirschbiel (v. Representative Scott Rigell). [Hampton Roads, 7/19/11]

NE-02: John Ewing (v. Representative Lee Terry). [Associated Press, 7/18/11]

FL-08: Val Demings (v. Representative Daniel Webster) [Orlando Sentinel, 7/13/11]

CO-06:  Joe Miklosi (v Representative Mike Coffman).  [Market Wire, 7/12/11]

IN-02: Brendan Mullen (OPEN).  [South Bend Tribune, 7/11/11]

FL-NEW: Alan Grayson.  [WFTV, 7/11/11]

IL-11: Bill Foster (OPEN).  [The Chicago Sun-Times, 7/9/11]

CA-48: Sukhee Kang (v. Representative John Campbell). [The Orange County Register, 7/6/11]

CO-04: Brandon Shaffer (v. Representative Cory Gardner).  [The Pueblo Chieftain, 7/6/11]

IL-08 (OPEN)

Tammy Duckworth. [The Chicago Sun-Times, 7/6/11]

Raja Krishnamoorthi. [The Daily Herald, 5/21/11]

IL-17 (v. Representative Bobby Schilling)

Cheri Bustos. [PJ Star, 7/2/11]

George Gaulrapp.  [Rockford Register Star, 6/27/11]

Dave Koehler. [Peoria Journal Star, 6/4/11]

 NM-01 (OPEN)

Marty Chavez. [NM Politics, 6/29/11]

Eric Griego.  [The Albuquerque Journal, 4/30/11]

Michelle Lujan Grisham. [Albuquerque Journal, 8/17/11]

WA-New: Denny Heck (OPEN).  [The Bellingham Herald, 6/2/11]

CT-05 (OPEN)

Chris Donovan. [NBC Connecticut, 5/23/11; Hartford Couant, 5/16/11]

Dan Roberti. [CT News, 4/13/11]

Elizabeth Esty. [Hartford Courant, 4/11/11]

Michael Williams. [New Times, 5/12/11]

 CO-03: Sal Pace (v. Representative Scott Tipton).  [The Pueblo Chieftain, 5/21/11]

 NJ-07 (v. Representative Lenard Lance)

Jun Choi.  [Politicker NJ, 5/5/11]

Ed Potosnak. [NJ Today, 5/12/11]

 VA-10: John Douglass (v. Representative Frank Wolf).  [Washington Post, 5/10/11]

WI-07: Pat Kreitlow (v. Representative Sean Duffy). [Chippewa Herald, 4/25/11]

WI-01: Rob Zerban. [Kenosha News, 3/27/11]

NH-02: Anne McLane Kuster. [AP, 3/29/11]

AZ-01: Ann Kirkpatrick.  [The Daily Courier, 3/29/11]

CA-03: Ami Bera.  [The Sacramento Bee, 3/16/11]


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