Politics

New Democrats’ PAC Adds 10 More Challengers to Watch List

PAC now has 23 candidates on watch list for 2018

Lauren Baer, who’s running in  Florida’s 18th District, is one of 10 more Democratic candidates that NewDemPAC is adding to its list of candidates to watch in 2018. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo).

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 10 more challengers to its list of candidates to watch in 2018 — a continued effort to get involved in House races earlier this cycle. 

The latest additions by NewDemPAC, obtained first by Roll Call, come from across the country and include a second former member of the coalition. The PAC announced its first 13 candidates to watch earlier this year. 

Inclusion on the watch list is not an endorsement, which is why NewDemPAC has already added multiple candidates running in the same district. The recognition comes with a $1,000 contribution this quarter and guidance about messaging and strategy. Endorsements will come next year.

The current 115th Congress includes 61 New Democrats, led by Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes. California Rep. Scott Peters chairs the group’s PAC.

“In order to regain the majority, we need New Democrat-style candidates running in competitive districts across the country,” Himes said in a statement.

“From entrepreneurs to national security experts to innovators, the candidates we are adding to the NewDemPAC Candidate Watch List are consensus-builders running strong campaigns who are well positioned to be effective leaders in the districts they seek to represent,” he added.

NewDemPAC is closely collaborating with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this cycle. Nine of the DCCC’s initial 11 Red to Blue candidates are on the group’s watch list.

Here’s a look at the 10 new challengers added by NewDemPAC and the district race ratings by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales

  • Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02): The former congresswoman, who gave up her 1st District seat to run for Senate last year, is now bidding for the 2nd District, currently held by Republican Rep. Martha McSally. It’s widely expected to be an open-seat race with McSally expected to enter the Senate contest.

Race Rating: Toss-up

  • Greg Stanton (AZ-09): The Phoenix mayor is running for the seat third-term Democratic incumbent Kyrsten Sinema is vacating to run for Senate.

Race Rating: Solid Democratic 

  • Jason Crow (CO-06): The lawyer and Army veteran is one of several Democratic candidates seeking to take on GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, who’s proved an elusive Democratic target. National Democrats are excited about a matchup between Crow and Coffman.

Race Rating: Tilts Republican 

  • Lauren Baer (FL-18): The former State Department official is hoping to take on freshman GOP Rep. Brian Mast. She’s facing 2016 Senate candidate Pam Keith in the primary. 

Race Rating: Solid Republican 

Race Rating: Leans Republican 

  • Susie Lee (NV-03): The Democratic philanthropist, who lost a 2016 primary for the 4th District, is running for the open seat that freshman Democrat Jacky Rosen is vacating to run for Senate.

Race Rating: Tilts Democratic

  • Max Rose (NY-11): The Army veteran is running for the Democratic nod in this Staten Island-based district, where Republican incumbent Dan Donovan is also facing a primary challenge from former GOP Rep. Michael G. Grimm.

Race Rating: Likely Republican 

Race Rating: Likely Republican

  • Ben McAdams (UT-04): The Salt Lake County Mayor already represents many people in the 4th District. His entrance into the race against second-term GOP Rep. Mia Love prompted a race ratings change last month.

Race Rating: Leans Republican

  • Dan Kohl (WI-06): The businessman and nephew of former Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl is hoping to take on second-term GOP Rep. Glenn Grothman. Kohl is the former political director and vice president of political affairs at J Street, a moderate pro-Israel lobbying group.

Race Rating: Solid Republican

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