The Republican National Committee announced a list of Democrats it plans to target in 2018, and Florida Democrats who unseated Republicans in 2016 should expect vigorous opposition, according to a Thursday report in the Miami Herald.
Democratic Reps. Charlie Crist and Stephanie Murphy both defeated Republican incumbents in 2016, but the RNC plans to spend considerable resources to ensure they aren’t in those offices for long.
“The success of our government depends on Republicans maintaining a strong majority in the House,” NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement Wednesday. “We owe the American people assurance that the agenda we were elected on — healthcare reform, a stronger national defense, and more good-paying jobs – is fulfilled.”
Crist beat Rep. David Jolly with 52 percent of the vote, which amounts to just over a 10,000-vote lead in Florida’s 7th District. Before the 2016 race, Crist launched an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2014, losing to incumbent-Governor Rick Scott by 65,000 votes. Crist also had a name-recognition bump in the state due to a high-profile switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party after he lost a Senate primary to Marco Rubio in 2010.
Murphy defeated perennial Republican John Mica, earning 51.5 percent, an 11,000-vote lead. Mica had held his office since 1993, and was a ranking member of the Oversight and Transportation Committees.
The change in voting is largely attributed to a court-mandated redistricting, that drastically changed the electorate in the district, resulting in significantly lower name recognition for Mica. Murphy was quick to capitalize on the weakness, leveraging her local experience as a teacher at Rollins College to establish herself as a true representative of local interests.
The GOP already has a fully staffed national team, and raised nearly $11 million towards 2018 congressional races during the month of January
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