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DCCC Promotes Nine Candidates to ‘Red to Blue’ Program for 2014

Rep. Steve Israel of New York leads House Democrats' campaign arm. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Rep. Steve Israel of New York leads House Democrats' campaign arm. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Friday its latest round of candidates in “Red to Blue,” a program that targets open-seat races and districts held by Republicans.  

House Democrats must pick up 17 seats to win control of that chamber — a daunting task in a midterm election. Offensive opportunities, like those in the Red to Blue program, are vital to the party’s mission. The DCCC released its first round  of 35 Red to Blue candidates earlier this year.  

“All of these candidates have met and surpassed demanding campaign goals, and shown they have a path to victory and have what it takes to win,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them through November to build campaigns that give voice to all the middle class voters left behind by this Republican Congress.”  

The following Democratic candidates have been added to the Red to Blue program:  

  • Arkansas’ 4th District: Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt is running in an open-seat race. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Safe Republican)
  • California’s 10th District: Bee farmer Michael Eggman is challenging GOP Rep. Jeff Denham (Rating: Favored Republican)
  • California’s 31st District: Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar is running to replace retiring Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller. (
    Leans Democratic
  • Iowa’s 1st District: State Rep. Pat Murphy is running in an open-seat race. (Rating: Safe Democrat)
  • Iowa’s 4th District: Veteran Jim Mowrer is challenging Republican Rep. Steve King. (Rating: Safe Republican)
  • Nebraska’s 2nd District: State Sen. Brad Ashford  is challenging Republican Rep. Lee Terry. (Rating: Favored Republican)
  • Pennsylvania’s 6th District: Physician Manan Trivedi is running in an open-seat race. (Rating: Leans Republican)
  • Pennsylvania’s 8th District: Veteran Kevin Strouse is challenging Republican Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick. (Rating: Favored Republican)
  • West Virginia’s 2nd District: Former West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey is running in an open-seat race. (Rating: Leans Republican)

Some — but not all — of the districts on the list were included in a major DCCC television advertising reservation  announced last week. But those reservations are subject to change and expand as the races evolve this fall.  

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., chairs the Red to Blue program.  

The committee also added five Democratic candidates to its “Emerging Races” initiative. The DCCC defines this designation of challengers as candidates “that are making themselves competitive by running smart campaigns which are becoming increasingly competitive.”

  • Indiana’s 2nd District: University of Notre Dame professor Joe Bock is challenging Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski.  (Rating: Favored Republican)
  • Kentucky’s 6th District: Education advocate Elisabeth Jensen is challenging Republican Rep. Andy Barr. (Rating: Safe Republican)
  • Minnesota’s 2nd District: Former state Rep. Mike Obermueller is challenging Republican Rep. John Kline. (Rating: Safe Republican)
  • North Dakota’s At-Large: Democratic state Sen. George B. Sinner is challenging Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer. (Rating: Safe Republican)
  • West Virginia’s 1st District: Democratic West Virginia State Auditor Glen B. Gainer III is challenging Republican Rep. David B. McKinley. (Rating: Safe Republican)

Correction: An earlier version of this report had incorrect race rating for Minnesota’s 2nd District.