September 25, 2017

Roll Call Reports:

Moderate Democratic group is stepping into races earlier this cycle.

The political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is adding 12 House challengers to its list of candidates to watch in 2018.

NewDemPAC’s recognition comes with a $1,000 contribution this quarter and guidance about messaging and strategy. The watch list is a way for the group to get involved in races earlier than it previously has. Last cycle, the PAC contributed about $1 million to federal candidates and it expects to give out at least that much this cycle.

The PAC, which was founded in 2005, is adding multiple candidates in the same district to the list. Being included on the list is not yet an endorsement. NewDemPAC will make those 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.

“Democrats represent every district that is deep blue, but there are a lot of these mixed districts that we just haven’t done that well in,” Peters said Friday. “So what we’re trying to do is supplement the work of the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and offer advice about winning these districts.”

The 12 new candidates to watch are:

  • Dave Min in California’s 45th District
  • Hans Keirstead and Harley Rouda in California’s 48th District
  • Paul Davis in Kansas’ 2nd District
  • Elissa Slotkin in Michigan’s 8th District
  • Angie Craig in Minnesota’s 2nd District
  • Former Rep. Brad Ashford, who’s running for the 2nd District seat he lost in Nebraska last fall
  • Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey’s 11th District
  • Anthony Brindisi in New York’s 22nd District
  • Jana Lynne Sanchez in Texas’ 6th District
  • Jay Hulings in Texas’ 23rd District
  • Roger Dean Huffstetler in Virginia’s 5th District.

Chrissy Houlahan, who’s running in Pennsylvania’s 6th District, was already on the PAC’s watch list.

NewDemPAC reviewed the websites and press releases of candidates being vetted for the list. Candidates also had to participate in brief interviews.

The group’s leadership is coordinating with the DCCC this cycle, which Peters said is much less “cookie-cutter” in its approach than it was in 2012 when he was first elected.

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