James L over at Swing State Project has the Q2 fundraising numbers for 2008 congressional incumbents and challengers of both parties. And as they've done at the presidential and campaign committee levels, the Democrats shine here as well.
These two bullet points are especially telling:
* Republican challengers who outraised Democratic incumbents: Jim Ryun (KS-02) and Andrew Saul (NY-19).
* Democratic challengers who outraised Republican incumbents: Charlie Brown (CA-04), Russ Warner (CA-26), Jim Himes (CT-04), Michael Montagano (IN-03), Frank Kratovil (MD-01), Andrew Duck (MD-06), David Nacht (MI-07), Kay Barnes (MO-06), Eric Massa (NY-29), Vic Wulsin & Steve Black (OH-02), John Boccieri (OH-16), Darcy Burner (WA-08).
Two challengers who hit particularly close to home for me are Charlie Brown in CA-04 and Jim Himes in CT-04.
I had the pleasure of meeting Lt. Colonel Charlie Brown in San Diego at the calitics CDP blograiser where he impressed me with his passion, especially on the war, and his friendly way as he closed the place with us with beer in one hand, blogging away with the other. We here in California are looking to him to be the Jerry McNerney of 2008 and to hopefully lead the charge toward taking back red California. And when Charlie Brown defeats corrupt Rep. John Doolittle next November, he'll have the pleasure of representing my Republican uncle whose admonition to me last November was something to the effect of "ok, well you won, now let's see if you can do something." It was a standard to which he never held his own party. Charlie Brown will show him what's it's like to actually have a representative in Washington looking out for his interests, not his own.
Along the same lines, Jim Himes in CT-04 (see Melissa Ryan's introduction HERE) is taking on Chris Shays in my Republican parents' district. In fact, I lived in the 4th when I turnd 18 and Shays was one of the first votes I cast. He actually represented the district pretty well through the 90s but under Bush and the extremist Republican majority, Shays became an enabler of the worst kind. Last November was a heartbreaker but 2008 will be the year when the last Republican congressman in New England is sent back home.
What heartens me about these races is the strong local blogger support both challengers enjoy, a fact that is inextricably linked to their fundraising strength. Calitics has been a strong advocate of Brown's since his 2006 challenge (in which he came within just a few points of unseating Doolittle) as has Dump Doolittle and Himes is finding strong support from MyLeftNutmeg (see their takedown of Shays's pro-Iraq vote and Himes's instant response HERE) as well as CT Local Politics.
As we look toward expanding our majorities next year, these are two races I'll be watching. What races are most important to you and have you checked out the local blogs that are covering them? Link 'em up in the comments.