RACE FOR THE HOUSE | NY-24 | CA-21 | CA-10 | KS-3 | PA-7

House Dems Work to Fill Final Recruitment Holes

Democrats have fielded challengers in all but 20 GOP-held districts.

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Ally Mutnick
Jan. 2, 2018, 11:18 a.m.

House Democrats are still recruiting in some of the 23 GOP-held districts that Hillary Clinton won last year. “To take on” Rep. David Valadao (R-CA 21) “the DCCC is in talks with Steve Schilling, the CEO of a chain of health clinics that serve low-income migrant communities, according to sources familiar with conversations among party leaders.” 2016 nominee Michael Eggman (D) “is among the candidates the DCCC has reached out to” in Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-CA 10) district, and he’s “considering a third run … according to sources close to him.”

Democrats have ‘what we deem to be only four meaningful holes,’ said” DCCC Recruitment Chairman Denny Heck, “who declined to reveal the entire list but acknowledged it includes the Katko and Valadao districts.” House Democrats are still assessing whether they will need to re-recruit in districts held by Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA 07) and Kevin Yoder (R-KS 03) where sexual misconduct allegations felled their leading candidates. The DCCC “renewed recruiting efforts in” PA-07 “when it became clear their top candidate,” state Sen. Daylin Leach (D), “was being accused of sexual misconduct, according to Democratic sources in the district.”

“The absence of impressive, well-funded contenders in these seats is notable among an abundance of such candidates in districts across the map, including seats that haven’t been seriously contested in years. Democrats appear to be on the verge of a big midterm cycle, but recruitment failures in these seats … could complicate the path back to the majority. (Hotline reporting)

BY THE NUMBERS. “Federal Election Commission filings show that if a wave crashes on the Republican House majority in November, as many have predicted, Democratic surfers will be on their boards to catch it. Nearly a year out from the election, Democratic candidates have filed in all but 20 House districts held by Republicans. By comparison, Democrats in 80 districts do not have a Republican opponent for their seat. The Democrats are not just filing to run in districts where Mrs. Clinton performed well. They are also running for conservative seats that were uncontested in 2016 and where Republicans remain heavy favorites, in states like Texas, Arkansas and Nebraska.” (New York Times)

SPENDING BLITZ. “Corry Bliss, who heads two groups with ties to House Republican leadership, the American Action Network and Congressional Leadership Fund, said the bill’s low popularity is an opportunity. The group plans to spend $10 million before the end of February to help vulnerable members in 30 districts, and Bliss predicted that telling Americans to look at their paychecks and see the results for themselves will be an effective message. ‘It sets up a nice contrast between a party that cut middle-class taxes by $2,000 and a party that is too busy screaming about impeaching the president to do anything to help the middle class,’ Bliss said. American Action Network spent $24 million selling the plan before it passed.” (Politico)

ON THE WEB. The NRCC released a web video touting their 2017 accomplishments, including the GOP’s work to repeal Obamacare, pass a tax overhaul and repeal burdensome regulations. (release)

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