Campaign 2010

Jul 21, 2011

Strong Democratic Recruiting Exceeding All DCCC Goals

As part of the Drive to 25 campaign to win the House, strong Democratic candidates are running in 41 Republican and open districts – exceeding internal benchmarks for DCCC recruiting.  The Democratic candidates reflect the values of their district and include doctors, police chiefs, small business men and women, state Assembly Speakers, local Mayors, veterans and a General. Democrats need 24 seats to win the Majority and return to the People’s House, and will put at least 60 Republican seats in play.


“Democrats’ path to the majority begins with strong candidates running solid campaigns and fighting against the Republican plan to end Medicare while protecting tax breaks for Big Oil and billionaires,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel. “After Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Hochul won a ruby-red district in Western New York, it was clear that the Republican plan to end Medicare put the House in play. Under the leadership of DCCC Recruiting Committee Chairwoman Allyson Schwartz, we have exceeded all recruiting expectations.  Stay tuned, there will be more strong candidates making announcements in the weeks and months to come.”


Highlighted Democratic Candidates


FL-25. Luis Garcia (v. Representative David Rivera). “State Rep. Luis Garcia announced Wednesday that he intends to run for Congress against embattled U.S. Rep. David Rivera. Launching his campaign from Tamiami Park in West Miami-Dade, Garcia, a former Miami Beach fire chief and city commissioner, said he is not running against anyone but for the people of Florida's 25th Congressional District. "The people want a change, and I want to be a part of that change," he said from a podium under an arch of red, white and blue balloons to several dozen supporters gathered in a multipurpose room at the park. Garcia, a Democrat, is the first candidate to challenge Rivera, a Republican whose personal and campaign finances have been under investigation since before he was elected last year to fill the seat formerly held by U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.” [Miami Herald, 7/20/11]


NV-NEW. Dina Titus (OPEN). “Dina Titus is running for Congress in a yet-to-be-named district of Nevada. […] “I have been proud to serve Nevada, stand up for working families, and fight back against Wall Street banks that have walked away with billions while our communities suffer,” Titus said in her statement. “It is clear that Southern Nevadans are still hurting and need someone who will do what’s right for them.” But even if Titus isn’t destined for the marquee electoral fight, she’s already throwing punches at the Republicans. […] Titus summarized her platform as three key priorities: helping Nevada homeowners avoid foreclosure, investing in the renewable energy sector to create jobs and working to protect Medicare and Social Security.” [Las Vegas Sun, 7/19/11]


IA-04: Christie Vilsack (v. Representative Steve King). “Saying Iowa needs problem-solvers not partisan fighters, Democrat Christie Vilsack today said she will challenge U.S. Rep. Steve King for a seat in Congress […] ‘I’ve decided to run for Congress because I believe in our Iowa values of civility, responsibility and respect and I want to bring those values to Washington,’ Vilsack said in an announcement video posted on her campaign website. Vilsack said her campaign will be about innovation, education and connection. It will be about economic opportunities and what the federal government can to help or hurt that effort. It will be about saving Medicare without turning it into a voucher system, she said. Answers won’t be found in one extreme or another, she said.” [DesMoines Register, 7/19/11]


PA-06: Manan Trivedi (v. Representative Jim Gerlach).  “Democrat Manan Trivedi, a Reading physician and an Iraq war veteran, said Monday that he would seek a rematch next year with Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach for Pennsylvania's Sixth District seat. […] Trivedi said he would make an issue of the GOP budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, which would privatize the Medicare program of health care for the elderly. ‘It would be catastrophic,’ he said.” [The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/19/11]


VA-02: Paul Hirschbiel (v. Representative Scott Rigell).  “Virginia Beach businessman Paul Hirschbiel announced Monday he is running as a Democrat for Virginia's 2nd Congressional District seat in 2012.  ‘I'm tired of the dysfunction that I see up there today,’ Hirschbiel said, referring to Washington. ‘I believe they should be working together.... They're forgetting about us people.’ […] ‘Scott is very much to the right. I am much more of a moderate.’ […] Hirschbiel said, noting that he opposes the Republican budget plan, offered by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and supported by Rigell, that calls for sweeping changes in entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.” [Hampton Roads, 7/19/11]


NV-NEW: John Oceguera (OPEN).  “The 2012 congressional race in Southern Nevada lurched into gear when Assembly Speaker John Oceguera announced on Monday his candidacy, though for which House seat remains uncertain […] Oceguera, who lives in the current 3rd Congressional District, appears to be gearing up to challenge Heck. […] During the legislative session, Oceguera reached out to Republicans during budget talks. He also pushed through education reforms, including some that other Democrats resisted.” [Las Vegas Review Journal, 7/18/11]


NE-02: John Ewing (v. Representative Lee Terry).  “Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing has announced he will run for Nebraska's 2012 2nd House District seat.  The announcement makes Ewing the first Democrat to enter the race to challenge GOP incumbent Lee Terry. […] The 50-year-old Ewing was born and raised in Omaha and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he also earned a master's degree. He served for 24 years in the Omaha Police Department, and was deputy police chief when he retired after being elected treasurer in 2006.  Ewing says he will work to cut spending to reduce the deficit.” [Associated Press, 7/18/11]


FL-08 (v. Representative Daniel Webster)


Val Demings. “Val Demings, Orlando's popular former police chief, wants to take freshman U.S. Rep. Dan Webster's seat away.  […] But her priorities were clearly in line with the Democrats: protecting the middle class, Social Security and Medicare while promoting job growth. ‘While hard-working men and women hit the pavement every day in search of work or struggle to hold onto their house, we have a Congress that continues to reward millionaires and billionaires,’ she said.” [Orlando Sentinel, 7/13/11]


Alan Grayson.  “On Monday, Grayson said he doesn't plan to do anything different. He said he's running again because of all the people who have reached out and asked him to.  […] Grayson said his approach this time around depends on the circumstances, but for the sake of supporters who sent him donations before he announced he's running again, he said he has no plans to hold back. ‘We're fighting for our survival. We're fighting for our jobs, our homes. We're fighting for Social Security and Medicare.’” [WFTV, 7/11/11]


CO-06:  Joe Miklosi (v Representative Mike Coffman).  “Colorado State Representative Joe Miklosi today officially declared his candidacy for Colorado's 6th congressional district.  ‘I'm running for Congress because I want to restore job growth, restore economic growth, and help more Coloradoans achieve their unique version of the American Dream, such as owning a home, starting a business or attending college,’ […] ‘I will focus on creating more educational and economic opportunities, such as assistance to small business owners for accessing loans, creating jobs, and growing their businesses.’” [Market Wire, 7/12/11]


IN-02: Brendan Mullen (OPEN).  “Brendan Mullen, an Adams High School alumnus who went on to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy and serve in Iraq, will announce today he is running for Indiana’s 2nd District congressional seat. […] ‘Instead of bickering and finger pointing, we need jobs and a revitalization of our middle class. Instead of privatizing Social Security and eliminating Medicare as we know it, we need to live up to our commitments to our parents and grandparents,” he continued. “Instead of runaway spending and deficits, we need to live within our means. From the future of Social Security to our country’s mounting debt, we need practical solutions that help - not hurt - every American man, woman and child.’” [South Bend Tribune, 7/11/11]


IL-11: Bill Foster (OPEN).  “Former Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), making a 2012 comeback bid in the new 11th congressional district, starts the contest in a much stronger position than potential Democratic rival John Atkinson […] Atkinson's problem, the poll shows, is that he is virtually totally unknown, while Foster has a running start as a former House member. Just six percent of the voters in the new district are familiar with Atkinson, compared to 41 percent for Foster.” [The Chicago Sun-Times, 7/9/11]


CA-48: Sukhee Kang (v. Representative John Campbell).  “Irvine Mayor and Democrat Sukhee Kang has joined the race for a congressional seat expected to represent much of coastal Orange County, setting up perhaps the most competitive race in years in the Republican-dominated area.  ‘I want to use my local hands-on experience’ in Washington to improve education, spur creation of green-technology jobs and preserve Medicare, Kang said in an interview.  […] Kang's role as mayor of the district's biggest town could also aid his chances. On the City Council since 2004, Kang has presided over Irvine's seven-year run as America's safest large city.” [The Orange County Register, 7/6/11]


CO-04: Brandon Shaffer (v. Representative Cory Gardner).  “State Senate President Brandon Shaffer, the Longmont Democrat who is term-limited next year, announced on July Fourth that he's running for Congress […] ‘Our current representative is a politician who has spent much of his career in Washington, D.C., as an attorney and a congressman,’ Shaffer told supporters. Gardner is an attorney, a former state legislator and a former congressional staffer, but he's only held the 4th District office since January.  Shaffer faulted Gardner for backing House Republican budget legislation, including plans to overhaul the future Medicare health insurance program for people 55 and younger.” [The Pueblo Chieftain, 7/6/11]


IL-08 (OPEN)


Tammy Duckworth.  “Tammy Duckworth made it official on Wednesday morning, launching a run for Congress from the north suburban Illinois 8th congressional district […] ‘It's time to tell John Boehner, Karl Rove and the tea party crowd that you can't balance the budget on the backs of seniors. You can't serve multi-national corporations first and American families last. And you won't build a better future by tearing down our economy brick by brick and shipping it overseas.’” [The Chicago Sun-Times, 7/6/11]


Raja Krishnamoorthi.  “Krishnamoorthi says he would expect to challenge Walsh in an 8th District that includes the Northwest suburbs. […] ‘We must continue to work toward economic recovery and winning the global competition for the businesses and good-paying jobs of tomorrow,’ […] ‘A critical part of winning that battle is making our federal government live within its means.’” [The Daily Herald, 5/21/11]


IL-17 (v. Representative Bobby Schilling)


Cheri Bustos.  “East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos filed her Federal Election Commission paperwork Thursday to join the race […] Part of what drives her interest in the race are family tragedies over the past several years. Her older brother died six months ago, after his health insurance wouldn't cover a cancer treatment that relied on an experimental drug. A year ago, a sister-in-law died of cancer after she couldn't get optimal treatment for the disease. […] those events ‘apply to my desire to develop public policy that helps ordinary people.’” [PJ Star, 7/2/11]


George Gaulrapp.  “Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp officially announced his candidacy for United States Congress on Saturday. […] ‘The main goal is to bring jobs back,” Gaulrapp said. “Jobs will solve a lot of issues in this area.’ […] ‘I’m running for the same reason that I ran for mayor,’ Gaulrapp said. ‘To make life better in our area.  I am from Freeport, have raised a family here, and see a lot of opportunities for not just Freeport, but the surrounding area.’” [Rockford Register Star, 6/27/11]


Dave Koehler. “State Sen. Dave Koehler says he’s taking the plunge. ‘The more I’m involved with the public and in an elected capacity, the more I’m convinced what people are striving for is really simple: It’s fairness and common sense,’ he said Friday in announcing his formal decision to run. ‘We know we have to live within our means, we have to cut spending, we have to cut the deficit. Does that mean we cut Medicare? Contrast that to tax cuts (for the wealthiest Americans). I don’t think that passes the fairness test in people’s minds.’” [Peoria Journal Star, 6/4/11]


NM-01 (OPEN)


Marty Chavez. “Former Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez is running for the 1st Congressional District […] Chavez said Tuesday that as a House member, he would seek to balance the federal budget while supporting programs such as Medicare and Social Security to protect society’s ‘most vulnerable.’ ‘It really is about the economy and how perilous it is,’ he said. ‘And you can’t have a strong economy unless you balance the budget.’” [NM Politics, 6/29/11]


Eric Griego.  “Sen. Eric Griego, D-Albuquerque, announced he would seek the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District […] Griego, who will finish his first state Senate term next year, is a self-identified progressive Democrat who has fought for higher taxes, rather than cuts in services, to make up for state budget shortfalls. He has also been a strong advocate for environmental issues.  ‘We need a Congressman who will unapologetically stand up for working families and take on those who would put the interests of the very richest Americans and large corporations ahead of our children, our seniors and our environment.’” [The Albuquerque Journal, 4/30/11]


WA-New: Denny Heck (OPEN).  “Denny Heck lost his bid for Congress in the 3rd district last year, but he’s back in the running. […] Heck said has “continuing concern that Congress hasn’t quite figured it out yet – that the answer to a lot of our problems is creating jobs. That’s what they ought to be focused on instead of – I might add – this pretty tough attack on the middle class.”  By that he meant the House GOP’s proposal to change Medicare into a voucher system, Herrera Beutler voted for GOP Medicare proposal in Ryan’s House budget proposal and that earned her some heat (and praise) from the public in one recent town hall at Vancouver.” [The Bellingham Herald, 6/2/11]


CT-05 (OPEN)


Chris Donovan. “Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives, Chris Donovan, is aiming for a new job.Donovan filed papers to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 5th District Friday, according to CTNewsJunkie. […] He was first elected to the State House of Representatives in 1992, and became Speaker in 2009.” “Any doubts about whether House Speaker Chris Donovan is going to be a candidate for Congress were dispelled tonight, when Donovan showed up at a Democratic fundraiser with a pile of guitar-themed stickers proclaiming his candidacy for the 5th District. [… ]  [NBC Connecticut, 5/23/11; Hartford Couant, 5/16/11]


Dan Roberti. “Democrat Dan Roberti has announced his run for Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District, the seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Murphy’s run for the US Senate.. […] Dan grew up the son of a public school teacher and a former state representative, and was inspired by their service. He worked his way through college and joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, where he ran the day-to-day operation of a homeless shelter in Spokane Washington. Dan moved to New Orleans to pursue a degree in Pastoral Studies, but after Hurricane Katrina struck, he left his studies to work with activist James Carville to support Katrina relief efforts.” [CT News, 4/13/11]


Elizabeth Esty. “Former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire announced today that she is running for the 5th Congressional District. The Democrat served one-term in the state House of Representatives and two terms on the Cheshire town council. Her husband, Dan Esty, is Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's Department of Environmental Protection commissioner. “ [Hartford Courant, 4/11/11]


Michael Williams. “Democrat Michael Williams said he intends to seek the Democratic nomination to run for the 5th Congressional District seat in 2012. […] Williams, 31, said he has worked with American embassies in London and Afghanistan and was an advisor to President Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. He also was an intern for then-Sen. Joe Biden.” [New Times, 5/12/11]


CO-03: Sal Pace (v. Representative Scott Tipton).  “State Rep. Sal Pace, the Pueblo Democrat in his second term in the General Assembly, confirmed Friday that he intends to form a campaign committee aimed at running for the 3rd Congressional District seat now held by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, the freshman Republican. […] Pace is no newcomer to the 3rd District. He worked on the campaign and became district manager for former U.S. Rep. John Salazar when the San Luis Valley Democrat  won that seat in 2004. Pace then managed Salazar's successful re-election campaign over Tipton in 2006.” [The Pueblo Chieftain, 5/21/11]


NJ-07 (v. Representative Lenard Lance)


Jun Choi.  “Getting in front of the 2012 contest early, former Edison Mayor Jun Choi today announced his challenge of U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7).  ‘I'm running for Congress because we need to revitalize New Jersey and America's middle class,’ said Choi, a Democrat. ‘The success we've had in revitalizing Edison will serve as a blueprint for America - more jobs, more fiscal discipline, and an innovative public education system to build the workforce of tomorrow.’” [Politicker NJ, 5/5/11]


Ed Potosnak.  “Ed Potosnak, who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Leonard Lance in the 2010 Congressional election, filed papers to run in 2012. […] ‘There are important things that need to be done in Washington and partisan politics are preventing progress. We need to work together to get the job done.’ Potosnak said.  ‘Creating good jobs to secure America’s future, stimulating research and development, improving education so that future generations can innovate and lead, and protecting the American Dream are among my top priorities’ explained Potosnak.” [NJ Today, 5/12/11]


VA-10: John Douglass (v. Representative Frank Wolf).  “Retired Gen. John Douglass — who held national security posts in both the Reagan and Clinton administrations as well as NATO — said Tuesday that he would run for the Democratic nomination because “it’s time to have an independent voice” in Virginia’s 10th district.  ‘At this critical time, we need someone who has a proven record of standing up, taking on the tough fights, and winning them,” […] “I’ve served this nation for over three decades and have the proven-leadership needed to tackle the complex challenges we face this century.” [Washington Post, 5/10/11]


WI-07: Pat Kreitlow (v. Representative Sean Duffy). “Former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow announced Monday that he intends to run for a U.S. Congress seat in 2012, saying he will fight against “this new war on the middle class.”[…] “The last straw for me was Sean Duffy’s vote to blow up Medicare, a promise we make to every middle class American that says decades of hard work will be rewarded with a retirement filled with the chance to stay healthy,” Kreitlow said. “Instead, he wants to give seniors a lame coupon and a shove back into the health insurance shark tank, even as he gives billionaires another tax cut.” Kreitlow, 46, is a journalism graduate from UW-Eau Claire. He became a well-known figure by anchoring the television news at WEAU for many years. He and his wife Sharry have two adult daughters and a grandson.” [Chippewa Herald, 4/25/11]


In March the DCCC highlighted the following five candidates:


CA-03: Ami Bera.  [The Sacramento Bee, 3/16/11]

CA-26: Anthony Portantino.  [Pasadena Star News, 2/24/11]

WI-01: Rob Zerban. [Kenosha News, 3/27/11]

AZ-01: Ann Kirkpatrick.  [The Daily Courier, 3/29/11]

NH-02: Anne McLane Kuster. [AP, 3/29/11