The Wall Street Journal has reported that a handful of officials from President Barack Obama’s administration have entered into the 2018 House races to try to unseat some Republicans. Most of them will challenge Republicans that the Democrats view as “potentially vulnerable to a challenge.”
We’ve been documenting stories about how Democrats want to take over Congress, especially the House. This kind of surprises me since I think the Senate would be easier for them since the GOP now holds only a seat majority after Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in the Alabama special election.
Cook Political’s David Wasserman told WSJ that the large amount of Democratic nominees are “people who feel a genuine calling to oppose Trump and suddenly out-of-work Democrats looking for jobs.”
The Democrats have to win 24 seats in the House in order to have the majority.
From The London Times:
According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, more than 200 Democrats, including at least a dozen officials from the Obama administration, have signed up to run in the elections in November.
Pete Sessions, a Republican from Texas, had no opposition in 2016. This year ten Democrats are vying to take his seat in the House. Four more are running to challenge Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois who also won unchallenged two years ago.
After Mr Trump was elected President Obama advised supporters: “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials grab a clipboard, get some signatures and run for office yourself.”
Other former aides running for office include former White House Technology Advisor Brian Forde. He returned to his southern California district and decided to run against Rep. Mimi Waters. From WSJ:
Former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Elissa Slotkin is challenging GOP Rep. Mike Bishop while living on her family’s farm in Michigan. And two former Obama administration alumni are taking on Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions—Colin Allred, who worked in Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of General Counsel and Ed Meier, who worked in the State Department focused on military-to-civilian transition in Iraq.
“We’re in the middle of a civic reawakening right now and that opportunity means that we need to reopen the barn doors,” Mr. Forde said.
Josh Rogin at The Washington Post wrote in October that Slotkin will not make Trump her target in her campaign. Instead, she will concentrate “on her record of serving both Democratic and Republican administrations.” She had three tours in Iraq and worked as a CIA analyst before she worked in the Pentagon under Obama.
Former State Department employee Sara Jacobs didn’t think she would won, but decided to join the race against Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Four Democrats have chosen to challenge Issa, who won his 2016 reelection by only one point.
A few former officials have already won seats in the House, which may be why the Democrats think they can rely on the others. From WaPo:
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, successfully made the jump from policy wonk to politician. He said that national-security-minded Democrats could be the key to taking over purple districts because they tend to be strong on terrorism and fiscally conservative, but progressive on social issues.
“In order to expand the party and our caucus, it’s key that we grow the middle,” he said. “This is the way to a majority.”
Will It Work?
I blogged last month that the DNC cannot bring in the money it desperately needs. On December 1, the DNC only had $6.3 million while the RNC had $40 million.
The party basically collapsed after Hillary Clinton lose big time to President Donald Trump in November 2016. Things only got worse after bombshells from Donna Brazile. She accused the party of showing favoritism to failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and detailed how the party was broke with Hillary coming to the rescue. Former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz tore the party apart with her mismanagement and poor financial skills.
The problems also go back to President Barack Obama’s eight years in office when he “built his own fundraising and data operation apart from the DNC.”
WSJ reported that people have lost faith in those in charge:
“The parties mean less and less every year,” said John Morgan, a Florida Democrat who contributed $30,000 to DNC for Mr. Obama’s 2012 reelection, $5,000 during the 2016 race and said he has no plans to give again.
The personal injury attorney is considering running for governor in Florida but said he isn’t even sure he would run as a Democrat, despite having hosted Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton in his home for fundraisers.
“At this point, there’s not really anyone at the DNC who I would trust with my money,” he said. “Why would I write big checks to them when I can do my own thing?”
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