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DCCC Announces Second Round of ‘Red to Blue’ Candidates

With seven additions, Red to Blue program includes 18 challengers so far

Army veteran Max Rose, who’s running in New York’s 11th District, has been named by the DCCC to its Red to Blue list. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Army veteran Max Rose, who’s running in New York’s 11th District, has been named by the DCCC to its Red to Blue list. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is naming seven more candidates to its Red to Blue program, which highlights Democratic recruits who have met certain campaign goals.

The list of challengers, obtained first by Roll Call, brings the total number of Red to Blue candidates to 18. The DCCC is rolling out additions to its list more frequently and in more targeted batches than in previous cycles. The committee released its first round of picks in November.

Inclusion on the Red to Blue list helps candidates stand out to donors. The congressional hopefuls also benefit from guidance and staff resources from the DCCC. Candidates must prove they have a strong campaign and fundraising organization to be included, as well as demonstrated grass-roots support.

“Candidates are our best asset, and we will continue to do everything possible to help them build strong campaign infrastructures, energize the grassroots, and raise the resources needed to spread their message,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján said in a statement.

Watch: Primary Primer — Your Guide to the 2018 Midterms

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The latest additions are:

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26)

This failed 2016 state Senate candidate is hoping to take on Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in a southern Florida district that Hillary Clinton carried by 16 points, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Republican

[Carlos Curbelo Gets Democratic Challenger Who Emigrated from Ecuador

Dean Phillips (MN-03)

This wealthy businessman is trying to take on five-term GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen in the suburban 3rd District, which Clinton carried by 9 points in 2016. Phillips reported raising $402,000 in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. He’s made a point of not accepting money from PACs. He started 2018 with $616,000 in cash on hand, according to his campaign. Paulsen has not yet released his numbers. He finished the third quarter of 2017 with $1.2 million. Inside Elections rates the race Leans Republican

[Vodka and Gelato Tycoon Challenging Minnesota’s Erik Paulsen]

Brad Ashford (NE-02)

The former congressman, who lost to Republican Don Bacon in 2016, is trying to regain his seat. President Donald Trump carried the district by about 2 points, while Ashford lost it by just 1 point. Inside Elections rates the race Tilts Republican

Kathy Manning (NC-13)

This philanthropist is trying to take on GOP freshman Rep. Ted Budd, a member of the House Freedom Caucus. On paper, the 13th District is the most favorable GOP seat in North Carolina for Democrats since Trump carried it by 9 points, the narrowest margin in the state. Manning announced she raised $530,000 in the final month of 2017. Budd ended the third quarter with $255,000. Inside Elections rates the race Solid Republican

[North Carolina Philanthropist Challenging Ted Budd

Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)

This former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor is challenging 12-term GOP Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee.  Neither candidate has released fourth quarter fundraising numbers yet, but Sherrill raised about three times as much as Frelinghuysen in the third quarter. Trump narrowly carried this affluent, suburban district in northern New Jersey. Inside Elections rates the race Likely Republican.

[Former Navy Pilot Challenging Frelinghuysen]

Max Rose (NY-11)

The Army veteran is running for the Democratic nod in this Staten Island district, which Trump carried by nearly 10 points. GOP Rep. Dan Donovan is facing a primary challenge from former GOP Rep. Michael G. Grimm. Rose announced this week he raised $330,000 in the fourth quarter. Inside Elections rates the race Likely Republican

Ben McAdams (UT-04)

The Salt Lake County mayor is trying to oust two-term GOP Rep. Mia Love in a district Trump carried with just 39 percent of the vote. McAdam’s entrance into the race prompted Inside Elections to move the race rating from Solid Republican to Leans Republican. McAdams announced he raised $502,000 in the fourth quarter and has $469,000 in the bank.

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