House Democrats back slate of candidates challenging Republicans in competitive districts

House Democrats’ campaign arm unveiled a slate of candidates it is backing to challenge potentially vulnerable incumbent House Republicans this year as the party tries to take back control of the lower chamber.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the 17 “top-tier” candidates in a release on Monday as part of its “Red to Blue” program, which provides financial backing and organizational support for candidates. 

“House Democrats have multiple paths to winning back the majority and this incredible slate of candidates are at the forefront of these efforts,” Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), the chair of the DCCC, said in a statement.

NBC News was the first to report the announcement. 

The DCCC-backed candidates are running in districts that were closely contested in the 2022 midterm elections, when Democrats narrowly lost their majority in the House. A majority of them have previously run in their district in a past race and lost by no more than a few points.

Democrat Adam Frisch, for example, lost to Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) in Colorado’s 3rd District by fewer than 600 votes in 2022. If Frisch wins the nomination this year, he will face a non-incumbent Republican, with Boebert switching districts to run in the more conservative 4th District.

Nebraska legislator Tony Vargas only lost to Rep. Don Bacon (R) in 2022 by fewer than 6,000 votes for the state’s 2nd District. Both races are rated as “lean-Republican” by The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper.

DelBene said the Democratic candidates “reflect the broad and diverse coalition that will be critical” to the party winning in 2024, and “their commitment to solving the urgent problems facing everyday Americans stand in stark contrast to the MAGA fealty of their opponents.” 

The GOP has a slim majority in the House, holding 219 seats to Democrats’ 213, with three seats vacant. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) denounced the group of Democratic candidates in a statement, arguing they were a “flop” during the last cycle and will lose again. 

“No one likes week-old crusty lasagna, but in desperate times you re-serve it while trying to convince your kids it’s the greatest meal of their life,” said NRCC press secretary Will Reinert. “The same goes for the DCCC — these candidates were a flop last cycle, and no amount of spin will convince voters they are not too extreme to represent them in Congress.”

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