Larry Kissell (D), the teacher who lost to Rep. Robin Hayes (R) by just 330 votes in November despite almost no help from national Democrats, is looking to re-establish his net-roots cred despite now being the favorite of the party establishment as well.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) is holding a conference call with Kissell this week, trying to enlist small-time donors to sign on to a $33.30 per month installment plan for Kissell through ActBlue. The Web site, a political action committee, bundles small- dollar contributions to Democratic candidates.
“I’m hoping to hear from teachers, mill workers, nurses, doctors, dock workers, cops, construction workers, senior citizens … (maybe even a lawyer or two), who never even considered giving $500 or more to a campaign before, but know now that they can and be appreciated and heard!” Kissell said in an e-mail.
Van Hollen’s participation in the Kissell fundraising drive is just the latest example of the help the challenger is getting from national Democrats. In April, former DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) headlined a Kissell fundraiser in Raleigh, just before the party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.
— Matthew Murray