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Dems Announce Top GOP Targets For 2016 Congressional Races

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced Thursday the first wave of congressional districts they plan to most heavily target in the 2016 races.

Of the 31 districts in its “Red to Blue program,” chaired by Reps. [crscore]Cheri Bustos[/crscore] and [crscore]Denny Heck[/crscore], eight were listed as emerging races they hope to make more competitive.

The organization designated 16 Red-to-Blue candidates and eight emerging race candidates to highlight this election season. Of the districts, five were named by DCCC as competitive as they still have multiple Democratic candidates.

“House Democrats are on offense and will pick up seats in 2016, and these effective, hardworking and diverse candidates are the foundation of our success this year, “DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico said in a statement.

Some of the most competitive seats the party is gunning for include Iowa Rep. [crscore]Rod Blum[/crscore]’s district, which tilts Democrat according to Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report ratings, and Illinois Rep. Robert J. Dold’s seat, listed as a toss-up, and will be challenged by former Rep. Brad Schneider who is vying to take back his former position.

“Not only have these individuals proven themselves ready to win by building smart campaigns and through strong fundraising, they have also proven themselves ready to fight on behalf of all the people in their districts, keep them safe and ensure the economy works for everyone,” Luján continued.

Of the districts the organization hopes to overturn, 19 are held by Republicans, while two races projected to be close are currently represented by Democrats leaving the lower chamber, Politico reports.

The Republican National Congressional Committee does not  seem threatened by the DCCC’s targets.

“Almost one year ago to the day, the DCCC announced its ‘One-Term Wonders,’ 16 Republican Freshman who they were targeting in 2016. They even came up with ‘clever’ one-hit wonder songs to associate with the Representatives!” it wrote in a blog post. “Well, it appears that they have given up on defeating 5 of those 16. It’s ok, DCCC, we’ve all had a Bad Day!”

Democrats need to gain a minimum of 30 seats to regain control of the House – an unlikely feat with the way district lines are drawn.

The organization said it expects to add additional candidates to its program soon.

The DCCC’s list includes:

Red to Blue Candidates:

CA-24 – Salud Carbajal

CO-06 – Morgan Carroll

FL-10 – Val Demings

FL-18 – Randall Perkins

FL-26 – Annette Taddeo

IA-01 – Monica Vernon

IL-10 – Brad Schneider

ME-02 – Emily Cain

MI-01 – Lon Johnson

MI-07 – Gretchen Driskell

MN-02 – Angie Craig

NJ-05 – Josh Gottheimer

NV-03 – Jacky Rosen

TX-23 – Pete Gallego

UT-04 – Doug Owens

VA-10 – LuAnn Bennett

Red to Blue Districts:

FL-13

NV-04

NY-01

NY-24

PA-08

Red to Blue’s Emerging Races designation:

AZ-01 – Tom O’Halleran

CA-10 – Michael Eggman

MI-08 – Melissa Gilbert

MT-AL – Denise Juneau

NH-01 – Carol Shea-Porter

NY-23 – John Plumb

PA-07 – Bill Golderer

WV-02 – Cory Simpson

Red to Blue’s Emerging District designation:

IA-03

NY-19

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