Top 50 Democrats for Congress

This is my view of the top 40 Democratic challengers for the House. There are other districts Democrats can win in 2008, but we need credible candidates.  This is in order of my perception of their ability to win.  I'm not an insider, so my perception could be wrong.  

Additions? Corrections? Disagreements? Comments?

Several of these candidates are facing primary challengers.  The name mentioned is the one I think would make the strongest candidate.

This is just for fun and information, so please don't yell at me as if the DCCC is going to use my list when deciding who to support.

Swing State Project just provided the 3rd quarter and total fundraising for the main candidates and the candidates they listed pretty much tallies with mine (though obviously their list was in state alphebetical order)
and I've provided the total fundraising figures

I plan on doing a bigger version of this list by the end of the month with some information on each district and why I've placed them where they are.

1.Charlie Brown, California 4, $496,000
2.Mary Jo Kilroy, Ohio 15, $424,000 (open seat)
3.Martin Heinrich, New Mexico 1, $318,000 (open seat)
4.Debbie Halvorson, Illinois 11, just entered (open seat)
5.Terri Bonoff, Minnesota 3, $89,000 just entered (open seat)
6.Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona 1, $217,000 (open seat)
7.John Boccieri, Ohio 16, $274,000 (open seat)
8.Christine Jennings, Florida 13, $263,000
9.Larry Kissell, North Carolina 8, $227,000
10.Darcy Burner, Washington 8, $519,000
11.Dan Maffei, New York 25, $342,000
12.Gary Trauner, Wyoming, $168,000
13.Ethan Berkowitz, Alaska, just entered
14.Jim Himes, Connecticut 4, $614,000
15.Linda Stender, New Jersey 7, $270,000
16.Mark Schauer, Michigan 7, $220,000
17.Robert Daskas, Nevada 3, $146,000 just entered
18.Gary Peters, Michigan 9, $215,000
19.Suzanne Kosmas, Florida 24, just entered
20.Bill McCamley, New Mexico 2, $205,000 (open seat)
21.Eric Massa, New York 29, $322,000
22.Jonathon Powers, New York 26, $230,000
23.Betsy Markey, Colorado 4, $152,000 (but her primary opponents have just dropped out)
24.Victoria Wulsin, Ohio 2, $386,000
25.Dan Seals, Illinois 10, $573,000
26.Bill Foster, Illinois 14, $340,000 (open seat)
27.Steve Driehaus, Ohio 1, $286,000
28.John Adler, New Jersey 3 $39,000 just entered
29.Dick Versace, Illinois 18, just entered (open seat)
30.Kay Barnes, Missouri 6 $656,000
31.Charlie Stuart, Florida 8, $167,000
32.Elywn Tinklenberg, Minnesota 6, just entered
33.Larry Grant, Idaho 1, $36,000 (but he's independently wealthy)
34.Mike Oot, New York 23 just entered
35.Russ Warner, California 26, $268,000
36.Bob Lord, Arizona 3, $402,000
37.Steve Sarvi, Minnesota 2, just entered
38.Judy Feder, Virginia 10, $338,000
39.Nick Leibham, California 50, $137,000
40.Beth Hafer, Pennsylvania 18, $75,000
41.Bill Kennedy, Montana, $178,000
42.Tom Myers, Pennsylvania 3, $107,000
43.Tom Perriello, Virginia 5, $110,000
44.Mike Lumpkin, California 52, just entered (open seat)
45.John Unger, West Virginia 2, $149,000
46.Dan Grant, Texas 10, $118,000
47.William O'Neal, Ohio 14 $108,000
48.Michael Montagano, Indiana 3, $156,000
49.Steve Harrison, New York 13, $37,000
50.Doug Denneny, Virginia 10, ??????

Potentially competitive districts where the Democrats lack a competitive candidate
1.Alabama 3
3.Florida 10
4.Florida 15 (recruited candidate Paul Rancatore just dropped out)
5.Illinois 6
6.Iowa 4 (2006 nominee Selden Spenser just dropped out)
7.Kentucky 2
8.Michigan 8
9.Michigan 11
10.New York 3
11.New Jersey 2
12.Nevada 2
13.Nebraska 2
14.Nebraska 3
15.Ohio 12
16.Pennsylvania 6
17.Pennsylvania 15
18.Texas 14
19.Texas 32

open seats
1.Alabama 2
2.Mississippi 2
3.Ohio 7 (but it just opened up)

Tags: Candidates, congressional elections (all tags)



Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress


Thanks for letting people know about that the 8th Congressional District in Florida is one of the competitive races this year. The current Rep, Ric Keller is a do nothing Republican in the worst sense of the word. In his 7 years in Congress, he has managed to push through only 5 pieces of legislation - the most famous is the Fast Food protection bill. You know, the one that kept McDonalds from being sued? In a time of War, terrorism, economic uncertainty and gross abuses of Presidential power -  it's an almost mind boggling dereliction of duty.

However, I would like to point out that the 8th is a very competitive district for the Dems. You list Charlie Stuart as the front runner because of his fund raising, but in reality Mr. Stuart is anything but. He lost to Ric Keller in the last election and it is questionable whether that outcome would change this time. There are several other campaigns that are just gearing up, like the  Alan Grayson campaign that I am working for.

Alan is the lawyer who is fighting the fight against corruption and war profiteering in Iraq and trying to being some accountability back to the process. He was recently featured in Vanity Fair, Rolling Stones Magazine and Mother Jones.

When the campaign kicks into high gear, the fund raising statistics should change and change quickly.

Again, thanks for making people aware of the race. It is good that so many Dems are interested in running this year to help bring about a Blue revolution in Florida. I just don't want people to think that the primary is over before it even gets started.

Tom Baker
Netroots Coordinator
Grayson For Congress

by crankyliberal 2007-10-17 03:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

Ric "I want to get rid of OSHA" Keller is one of the most odious Republicans in Congress.  The latest example of his odiousness was it turned out he lied about limiting his terms.

I thought Charlie Stuart ran a pretty good race for a first run and I would expect him to do better this time around.

I agree there is a multi candidate field of quality Democrats in that district including Charlie Stuart, Mike Smith (or something like that) and Alan Grayson.  Smith has raised as much or more as Charlie Stuart.

by Adam T 2007-10-17 04:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

One race you may be overlooking here is OH-5, where a special election will be held later this year (there will be a primary in Nov. & the special general in Dec. I believe).  Although OH-5 is very Republican, it is no more so than many of the districts you have listed.  On top of that, our likely candidate Robin Weirauch did relatively quite well last year (43%) against a long term incumbent and she is runnnig again.  (Better percentage, btw, than many of our "targeted" races last year e.g. CO-4, MN-6 and better than some lower-tier races too -- like Shamansky in Oh-12)... I did a diary on this a while back: 19/485#readmore
The Repugs, in the meantime, are in the middle of a very bloody primary between an establishment candidate originally thought to be a shoo-in and a Club for Growth challenger insurgent: hrer_releases_first_ad_calls_latta_a_lia r
The dynamics of the Repug primary may work against them in the general.

This district is indeed quite Repug, but if we're looking tocompare w/ other Ohio districts -- no more so than OH-7 for example.  Sherrod Brown got 50% in OH-7 & 51% in OH-5.  Special elections also often have off-beat dynamics to them (witness last night's MA-5 special), so we should def. be looking at this seat ....

by silver spring 2007-10-17 05:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

Yes, I didn't include special elections for this. I was going to point out that a very extensive post on Ohio 5 was posted here a while back, but I see it was by you.  :)

I hope the special election is going well.  As I posted on DailyKos there seems to be a trend of Democrats underperforming in special elections this cycle.  In all 3 special elections so far this year, Democrats have received less of the Congressional vote than they did in 2006.

I think the obvious place to look (and like a lot of things that seem obvious, it could be wrong) is the purist left that is unhappy with the Democratic Congress.

I think the theme has to be that the only way we can get Congress to pass the things we want is with more Democrats in Congress.

by Adam T 2007-10-17 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

I like the list overall.  I would change a lot of things around position wise, the further down the list you go.  I don't think MN-02 or MN-06 will be as competitive as you labeled them, for example.  (In comparison to the others)

We should also make a list of possible retiree's that poor fundraising would hint at.  I know in the senate Enzi only raised 7k and he is 63 years old and has spent the last 27 of 30 years in public service.  Cochran raised something like 14k?  I don't remember... But it was nothing special, again, 70 years old, has spent the last 34 years in congress.  

As for the House, the only one I can think of off hand is Bill Young, but I'm sure there are plenty more Republicans who had small showings in the form of fundraising that would hint at retirement.  
Five senate seats and thirteen house members are not enough retiree's to take the wave to bank.  We need more.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-10-17 05:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

Swing State did a comment like that:

Democratic challengers who out-raised Republican incumbents: Darcy Burner (WA-08), Charlie Brown (CA-04), Charlie Stuart (FL-08), Nels Ackerson (IN-04), Andrew Duck (MD-06), Mark Schauer (MI-07), Linda Stender (NJ-07), Vic Wulsin (OH-02), Steve Black (OH-02), Tom Perriello (VA-05), Judy Feder (VA-10), Gary Trauner (WY-AL

by Adam T 2007-10-17 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

I'm talking about who's fundraising hints at retiring because they had a poor, borderline horrendous showing, not who is being outfundraised.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-10-17 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

Well, it somewhat follows that any incumbent that has been outfundraised may be doing terrible in fundraising (like Barbara Cubin).

Swing state project didn't list the fundraising numbers of every incumbent so I can't put together that list.  I would be surprised if such a list was not made within the next couple weeks either by swing state or CQ Politics or Politico or The House.

by Adam T 2007-10-17 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

I won't be voting for Ms. Kosmas and I know hundreds of other people who feel the same way. We have a excellent candidate in Clint Curtis. He did all the work to oust Feeney and now that, that is done Kosmas wants all the rewards. She is the party puppet who has ethical issues of her own. someone once said "The only thing worse than a corrupt Republican is a Corrupt Democrat because as Democrats we have to be better than that", and she is not. Did you know she co-sponsored Bush's war when she was in the house in 2003?

by theunluckysoul 2007-10-19 04:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

You might want to revisit the Idaho race in a few weeks, as the word is that there is a far better candidate about to announce.

Also, Larry Grant ran for and lost this Open Seat last time.
Check out the column by the Idaho political columnist who "scared" Larry Craig into pleading guilty:

"Grant's deaf ear steepens odds for 2008" ry/89338.html

by idahoan 2007-10-19 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Top 50 Democrats for Congress

In MN-03 don't forget

Jim Hovland

who just announced he will be running for the open seat held by the retiring Jim Ramstad.

Hovland is a republican turned democrat and Mayor of Edina, Minnesota a long-time republican stronghold where Amy Klobachaur won in 2006 and John Kerry won in 2004.

Hovland has led efforts to address climate change at the municipal level and is a regional leader on transportation issues.  He's well respected on both sides of the aisle and in 2005 held a fundraiser for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

District background is here: Minnesota's 3rd CD

by northcountry 2007-11-13 06:59PM | 0 recs


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