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Democrats Announce Challenges to Three GOP Incumbents

Democrats recruited a challenger for Southerland. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Democrats recruited a challenger for Southerland. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Four Democratic challengers announced on Tuesday their plans to run against three House GOP incumbents in California, Florida and Minnesota:

Florida’s 2nd District

Gwen Graham, daughter of former governor and Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., will challenge Rep. Steve Southerland II. Graham’s campaign described her as “Washington outsider,” and traced her roots in the Tallahassee-based Panhandle district back to her father’s tenure as governor beginning in 1979.

However, Graham’s father later served three terms in the Senate and she boasts relatives at The Washington Post. CQ Roll Call reported Gwen Graham was a likely contender earlier this year.

California’s 31 District

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar will challenge one of House Democrats’ top  2014 targets, Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller. It’s Aguilar’s second try at Congress in as many cycles after he shocked Democrats by failing to make it to the general election in California’s new jungle primary system last year. Already in December, CQ Roll Call reported that Aguilar was interested in another run.

Minnesota’s 2nd District

CaringBridge Founder Sona Mehring announced she will challenge Rep. John Kline in another district that Democrats want to target in 2014. A businesswoman and former software consultant, Mehring started her now 65-employee strong to connect “patients to loved ones while facing any health crisis,” according to her campaign.

But former state Sen. Mike Obermueller is also “gearing up” to challenge Kline again in the suburban Twin Cities district, according to the Star Tribune. Obermueller lost to Kline by about 8 points in November.

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