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House GOP Adds 9 Vulnerable Incumbents to Patriot Program

Miller is a new member in the NRCC's incumbent retention program. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Miller is a new member in the NRCC's incumbent retention program. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce Monday that it has added nine members to its vulnerable incumbent program for the 2014 cycle, according to information provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.

The Patriot program provides fundraising and communications support to incumbents who meet certain NRCC benchmarks in their re-election campaigns. The nine Patriot program additions join 11 House Republicans whom the NRCC already deemed vulnerable.

This time, the most notable addition is Rep. Gary G. Miller of California, who represents the most Democratic district represented by a Republican in the country. Miller, a top Democratic target in 2014, joined the Patriot program after posting a respectable $238,000 haul in the second quarter — up from the meager $78,000 he raised in the first three months of the year.

The eight other new members are:

  • Rep. Dan Benishek in Michigan’s 1st District. Benishek defeated his Democratic opponent by less than 1 point in 2012, even though Mitt Romney carried the district with 54 percent.
  • Rep. Michael G. Grimm in New York’s 11th District. Grimm is one of a few Republican House members who represents a district Obama carried in 2012. He won re-election by 7 points last year, defeating a lackluster Democratic nominee. But this cycle, Democrats are running New York City Councilmember Domenic Recchia, whom they have billed as a top recruit this cycle.
  • Rep. Bill Johnson in Ohio’s 6th District. Johnson defeated former Rep. Charlie Wilson by more than 6 points in a 2012 rematch. This cycle, Johnson will face former state Rep. Jennifer Garrison, a conservative Democrat who announced her candidacy last week.
  • Rep. Tom Latham of Iowa’s 3rd District. Latham, one of Speaker John A. Boehner’s top allies, represents another swing district that Obama carried in 2012 with 51 percent. Latham defeated another member last year in one of the cycle’s most-targeted races. This cycle, he will face former state Sen. Staci Appel, another candidate whom Democrats have billed as a top recruit.
  • Rep. Tom Reed of New York’s 23rd District. Reed defeated his Democratic challenger by a little more than 3 points in 2012. He will face Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson, a Democrat, in 2014.
  • Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia’s 2nd District. Rigell represents a House district that Obama won in 2012.
  • Rep. Keith Rothfus of Pennsylvania’s 12th District. Rothfus defeated former Rep. Mark Critz in 2012 by 3 points. Critz is eyeing a rematch with Rothfus in 2014, though he has not officially announced a bid yet.
  • Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska’s 2nd District. Terry defeated his Democratic challenger in 2012 by a little more than 1 point in one of the closest contests of the cycle.

These nine new Patriots join Reps. Steve Southerland II of Florida, David Valadao of California, Joe Heck of Nevada and Mike Coffman of Colorado, among others, in the Patriot program.

“I look forward to working with them as they run aggressive and organized campaigns focused on helping middle-class families,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon said in a news release.

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