Politics

Former Candidate Launches New PAC to Flip California House Seats

Michael Eggman wants to build up the Democratic bench

Democrat Michael Eggman is launching “Red to Blue California.” (Courtesy Michael Eggman Congress Facebook page)

Former congressional candidate Michael Eggman is starting a new group to achieve what he could not do alone: flip House seats in California from Republican to Democrat.

Eggman is launching the “Red to Blue California” political action committee Monday, targeting seven House Republicans who represent districts in the Golden State that Democrat Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. 

California is one state where Democrats are hoping to make gains in their quest to take back the House. Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to win the majority. 

“Now as Donald Trump threatens to upend the very fabric of what makes our country great, I’m doing my part to join the resistance,” Eggman said in a statement provided to Roll Call. “I’m taking what I learned on the campaign trail to make sure others succeed where we fell short.”

Andrew Feldman, a spokesman for the PAC, said Eggman’s group will focus on training and assisting new candidates with fundraising and messaging.

“[Eggman] would have loved something like this organization that wasn’t focused on … 100 candidates at once like the big organizations when he first jumped into politics,” he said.

Feldman said the group is meant to supplement those larger organizations, such as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He said Eggman had a good relationship with the DCCC when he was a candidate, but the reality is that the committee is dealing with scores of candidates at once, which means Eggman’s group can provide more attention to those seven districts.

Eggman, a beekeeper and farmer, twice challenged GOP Rep. Jeff Denham in the 10th District. He lost to Denham by 12 points in 2014 and by 3 points last year. Clinton carried the district by 3 points according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections.

Denham is among Eggman’s targets in addition to Republican Reps. David Valadao, Steve Knight, Ed Royce, Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher, and Darrell Issa. All seven are also on the DCCC’s list of targets announced in January.

The group’s goal is also to bolster the Democratic bench in these congressional districts by supporting candidates running for state and local offices. Feldman said the group’s initial goal is to spend $1 million on local, state and federal races in each of the seven congressional districts.

Former Democratic Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher also announced this month that she is launching a super PAC to target those same seven House Republicans, with plans to spend up to $10 million in those districts over the next year. Tauscher, who served more than a decade in the House, is an ally of the Golden State’s senior senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein. Tauscher served as a state co-chairwoman for Feinstein’s 1992 and 1994 Senate campaigns, and was recently the treasurer for Feinstein’s leadership PAC, Fund for the Majority. 

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