The key to winning back a Democratic House is right here -- with diverse candidates like those below. Red to Blue is a highly competitive and battle-tested program at the DCCC that arms top-tier candidates with organizational and fundraising support to help them continue to run strong campaigns. Come November, these candidates and others will take the fight to Paul Ryan’s House Republicans -- and fight to flip these seats from red to blue.
Clarke is a seventh-generation Arkansan and a State Representative respected on both sides of the aisle. As young cancer survivor, Clarke's bipartisan work to protect access to health care is personal. His decision to run for Congress was spurred by his opponent's vote to drive up the cost of coverage and strip away protections for people who, like Clarke, live with pre-existing conditions. Clarke's deep roots in this community, ability to build consensus across party lines, and proven fundraising ability make him the right candidate to win back this seat with Democratic roots.
Armed with experience as a prosecutor and elected leader in this state, Ann Kirkpatrick is uniquely qualified to fight for families in Arizona’s 2nd district. This district leans Democratic: Sec. Hillary Clinton won by 5 points in 2016, and early polling shows that voters prefer a Democrat to a Republican by 7 points. Bolstered by endorsements from Reps. Gabby Giffords and Ron Barber, Kirkpatrick is poised for victory in 2018.
The son of immigrants, TJ Cox is a community development leader, health care advocate, and entrepreneur. TJ has invested and created hundreds of jobs in the Central Valley. His work has led to the development and opening of community health clinics, job-training facilities, clean energy plants and affordable housing. In one of the most Democratic districts in the country still held by a Republican, TJ has the life story and campaign that can compete and win this critical race. TJ lives in Fresno with his wife, Kathleen Murphy, M.D., a pediatric intensive care physician, and their four children.
The son of a public-school cafeteria worker and Vietnam veteran, Gil attended college on an R.O.T.C. scholarship and served our country as a naval officer for ten years. An education policy expert, he started a foundation to create more opportunities for local students and give back to his community after winning the lottery in 2010. Gil has worked extensively to strengthen schools and has established scholarships for underprivileged kids. He serves on the board of Michelle Obama’s college access initiative, Reach Higher.
Jason Crow has a stellar record of service. The son of small business owners, Jason worked minimum-wage jobs during high school, enlisted in the National Guard, and worked construction to help pay his way through college. After the horrific 9/11 attacks, he served as a paratrooper in the invasion of Iraq where he earned a Bronze Star. Jason then served two combat tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. Now he’s an attorney and veterans advocate. President Obama, Sec. Hillary Clinton, and Gov. Hickenlooper have all won this district. Crow is the candidate to flip this seat in 2018.
Ambassador Nancy Soderberg has worked to resolve conflicts worldwide. She served as an Ambassador to the United Nations and in the White House as Deputy National Security Advisor, where she was instrumental in brokering peace in Northern Ireland. She is President of Soderberg Global Solutions and Director of the Public Service Leadership Program at the University of North Florida. She was previously President of Connect U.S. Fund, Vice President of the International Crisis Group, and served as an advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She lives in Crescent Beach, Florida and has called Florida home for more than a decade.
Lauren Baer brings more than a decade of national security and legal expertise to her run for Congress in Florida’s 18th Congressional District, where she was raised and her family's roots run deep. Lauren served as an official in the Obama Administration from 2011-2017, acting as a senior advisor to two Secretaries of State and to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Prior to her State Department service, she was a litigator at WilmerHale LLP, where she focused on transnational disputes and federal appeals. Since she launched her campaign, Lauren has racked up strong local and national endorsements and turned heads with her impressive fundraising out of the gate.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell immigrated to the United States with her family as a young girl, working her first job at age 15 to help her family make ends meet and pay her way through college. Mucarsel-Powell has dedicated more than twenty years to improving access to healthcare, protecting the environment, and increasing educational opportunities in South Florida. Mucarsel-Powell is running for Congress because the opportunities this country offered enabled her family to achieve the American Dream and those same opportunities are disappearing for too many families. Florida's 26th district is one of the top swing districts in the country and Mucarsel-Powell has built a grassroots campaign that can turn this seat blue.
Abby, a first-generation college graduate and Iowa State Representative, launched her campaign in April and is a proven advocate for working families. This is a historically Democratic district -- President Obama won twice -- that represents a top takeover opportunity for Democrats. An NBC News profile designated Abby as the candidate with what it takes to win.
As the top prosecutor of the largest county in IL-12 and veteran of the US Navy, Brendan Kelly has carved out an impressive independent profile in this community. Since his launch, he’s raised notable funds -- already outpacing the incumbent Rep. Mike Bost. President Obama won this district twice and Sen. Tammy Duckworth won by 9 points, making this a prime pick-up opportunity for Democrats.
Betsy Dirksen Londrigan’s roots in Central Illinois go back generations, to when her great-grandparents moved there searching for a better life. A mother, self-employed entrepreneur, and non-profit leader, Londrigan stepped up to run for Congress when she saw Republican incumbent Rep. Rodney Davis and Washington Republicans vote to take health care away from families like hers and raise the cost of their health care. After watching her son fight a life-threatening illness, Londrigan appreciates the importance of access to quality, affordable health care. Londrigan understands the needs of working families and will always put them ahead of Washington special interests.
Lauren Underwood brings a critical perspective to this race as a registered nurse, with hands-on health care experience. She is the first woman to receive the Democratic nomination in her district. Lauren began her career helping to implement the ACA, and President Obama appointed Lauren to serve as a Senior Advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services. There, she helped communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters, bioterror threats, and public health emergencies. During a swimming lesson when she was 8 years old, Lauren discovered that she had a heart condition. The doctors and nurses who helped her through her initial treatment inspired her career in nursing. Recently, Lauren worked with a Medicaid plan in Chicago to ensure it provided high-quality, cost-efficient care. Lauren is training future nurse practitioners through Georgetown University’s online master’s program.
Paul is the former Kansas House Minority Leader and is in a unique position to fight for Kansas values and win this district. As the 2014 Democratic nominee for Kansas governor, Paul won Kansas’s 2nd district by 6 points. Paul has built a strong, centrist brand in comparison to Kansas Republicans who will have to defend unpopular Gov. Brownback and who have openly admitted they have a weak bench. Paul recently outraised the entire Republican field combined and has widespread support heading into 2018.
Coming from a family of Navy veterans, Gretchen Driskell grew up learning that we have an obligation to give back. Her journey to help her community started as a young mother in Saline, where she saw a need for a recreation center for families and helped build the Saline Recreation Complex. Gretchen’s passion for her community never wavered. She went on to be elected to City Council and became the first female and longest-serving Mayor of Saline. In 2012 she defeated an incumbent to be elected to the state legislature. Gretchen is the proud mother of Ryan, Matthew, a U.S. Navy Ensign, and Marielle, and grandmother of Chloe.
Elissa Slotkin is a third-generation Michigander and has spent her career in national service. She served with the Central Intelligence Agency -- including three tours in Iraq -- and worked directly for President Bush and President Obama on the White House National Security Council. Her entry into this race is a game-changer, and there’s a clear path to victory: Democratic Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow routinely win Michigan’s 8th.
Raised by a single mother in a mobile home park, Angie Craig worked two jobs to pay her way through college. She went on to lead a workforce of over 16,000 at a major Minnesota manufacturer. Angie Craig nearly won in 2016 in one of the most expensive races in the country. She is primed to win in 2018.
Dean Phillips is part of a 6th generation Minnesota family and is a successful business owner and community leader who is a first-time candidate for office. After receiving his MBA from the University of Minnesota, Phillips served as CEO of Phillips Distilling Company before helping build Talenti Gelato into one of the best-selling ice cream brands in the country. He currently co-owns Penny's Coffee, a small business that pays its employees a living wage. He is running in a swing district that Senator Klobuchar, Secretary Clinton, and President Obama all won. Phillips has been praised for the innovative grassroots campaign he is running, promoting accessibility and encouraging conversation in Minnesota’s 3rd District.
Dan McCready is a USMC veteran and a clean energy entrepreneur in North Carolina. McCready founded a solar energy business with a fellow Marine that helped bring hundreds of jobs to North Carolina. His candidacy is driven by the same call to serve he felt in the years after 9/11 when he joined the Marines. State and local election results, as well as McCready’s own profile and strong fundraising numbers, make this district a strong pick-up opportunity in 2018.
A business person, mother, community leader, and attorney, Kathy Manning has spent the last 25 years bringing people together in Greensboro, North Carolina to solve problems and create economic opportunity. A product of the American dream, Kathy’s great-grandparents fled religious persecution overseas and worked to provide their children with a better future. Kathy now strives to pay it forward. As the first woman to lead one of the largest charitable organizations in the world, Kathy brought people together to improve education and provide relief to people who lost their jobs during the economic downturn, including job retraining and mortgage assistance.
A 5th generation Nebraskan, Brad is a lifelong community leader in Nebraska who has worked tirelessly to deliver solutions for middle class families. After four terms in the Nebraska Unicameral, Brad was one of only two Democrats in the nation to beat an incumbent in 2014. Brad brought his commitment to working across party lines to Congress and was recognized as the “4th Most Bi-Partisan Member of Congress." There he helped bring a brand-new veterans’ medical facility to Omaha and successfully fought for funding to upgrade the runway at Offutt Air Force Base, ensuring the five thousand jobs the base supports stay in Omaha.
Jeff Van Drew has long been at the top of Democrats' recruitment list. A dentist, state Senator, and lifelong advocate for South Jersey, Sen. Van Drew has delivered real results for veterans, seniors, consumers and children. In the New Jersey State Senate, Van Drew was recognized as a bipartisan consensus builder, working across the aisle to crack down on predatory lenders, safeguard veterans and their families, and ensure that children with learning disabilities got the attention and curriculum they needed. He is one of the most popular Democratic elected officials in South Jersey, regularly winning his Republican leaning Senate seat by double digits.
Andy Kim is a national security expert and a Rhodes Scholar who served two years as President Obama’s Director for Iraq in the White House National Security Council. He previously served at the Pentagon, where he helped our nation build a strong military and provide for the men and women in our armed forces, and also served in Afghanistan as strategic adviser to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen during their tenures as Commanding Generals. Andy grew up in South Jersey and is raising his two baby boys there.
Born in Poland, Democratic candidate Tom Malinowski came with his mother to America at the age of six, seeking refuge from Communism and the Cold War. They settled in central New Jersey. After college, Tom became a Rhodes Scholar and eventually served on President Clinton’s National Security Council, where he focused on strengthening NATO and ending the wars in the Balkans. In 2014, President Obama appointed Tom to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. In this role, he earned national acclaim for standing up to dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un for their human rights abuses, and for blowing the whistle on Russian meddling in U.S. Elections.
Mikie Sherrill is a Naval Academy graduate, pilot and former federal prosecutor. As a Sea King Helicopter pilot, Sherrill flew missions throughout Europe and the Middle East. She worked on the Battle Watch Floor in the European Theater during Operation Iraqi Freedom and served as a flag aide to the deputy commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Sherrill later joined the U.S. Attorney’s office, where she took on violent and white-collar criminals and developed programs to help prevent crime in the community. The Cook Political Report rates New Jersey's 11th district – which Hillary Clinton lost by only 1 point in 2016 – as a “Toss-Up” in 2018.
Xochitl Torres Small, a water attorney and former staffer for Senator Tom Udall, is a first-time candidate running for the open seat vacated by Rep. Steve Pearce. As a child growing up in Las Cruces, NM, Torres Small heard stories about her grandmother, who immigrated from Mexico and worked in the fields to build her American dream. While her family never had a lot of money, she learned that through hard work and a good education she could not only succeed, but also give back to the community that made her success possible. Torres Small would bring a wealth of experience to Congress, having worked in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and clerked for a New Mexico federal judge with one of the heaviest criminal dockets in the country. She’s quickly stacking up local endorsements and putting together a strong campaign to take back this open seat in 2018.
Susie, a Las Vegas education advocate and nonprofit leader, has earned endorsements from Nevada’s entire Democratic Congressional delegation and Sen. Harry Reid -- all while building an impressive campaign and outraising all of her Republican challengers combined. President Obama won this district twice, and after President Trump’s 1-point victory in 2016, Susie is a candidate with the ability to win in 2018.
Max Rose is a U.S. Army veteran, an infantry company commander in the National Guard, and the former chief of staff for nonprofit Brightpoint Healthcare. Rose was deployed to Afghanistan from 2012-2013, where he served as an active duty officer, earning a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge. Rose is the first post-9/11 combat veteran to seek office in New York City. Following his military service, Rose worked as director of public engagement and special assistant to late Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, where he helped develop nationally recognized programs to restore trust between the justice system and the community.
Anthony Brindisi was born and raised in this district and currently serves the community as a State Assemblyman. He is known as a bipartisan consensus builder in Albany. His deep ties to the area, well-respected independent reputation, and strong support across the political spectrum make this district highly competitive for Democrats. Public polling already has Brindisi ahead of Rep. Tenney.
Juanita Perez Williams is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. Though her family struggled to make ends meet, Juanita was able to go to college and law school. She served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, New York State Assistant Attorney General, and Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse. Juanita is a former prosecutor and Associate Dean at Syracuse University. She is the mother of four children and a proud grandmother. Juanita has strong local ties and is regarded as a community leader thanks to her work on several boards of Central New York community organizations including Onondaga County Catholic Charities, La Liga (Spanish Action League), and Clear Path for Veterans. She is also a member of the Valley American Legion.
Aftab Pureval made history in 2016 when he was elected Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, defeating a Republican incumbent and becoming the first Democratic clerk in more than 100 years. During his tenure, Aftab ended patronage, cut fees, and saved taxpayers nearly $900,000. He invested in the people who serve at the courthouse by paying a living wage and offering paid family leave. The Cincinnati Enquirer said Aftab’s leadership is making a real difference for the people of Hamilton County. Previously, Aftab worked as an attorney at Procter and Gamble and was a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuting crimes against children. Aftab and his fiancée live in Cincinnati.
Ken is a former Navy pilot, an Ohioan, and a lifelong champion of military veterans. He served on the front lines of some of our nation’s toughest challenges, both in and out of uniform. As an Aircraft Commander, Ken led reconnaissance missions in the Middle East and off of North Korea. As President of Team Rubicon Global, a disaster-relief organization that has helped train more than 50,000 veterans to deploy to disaster zones, Ken learned how to get things done in a crisis. Like his father and grandfather who served before him, Ken learned that duty and honor are not just words. They are promises.
Chrissy Houlahan is a former teacher, former U.S. Air Force Captain, and a successful businesswoman who helped to create hundreds of jobs in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Her bipartisan appeal will help her win over Democrats and Republicans alike in this suburban swing district -- a district that Hillary Clinton, Gov. Tom Wolf, and Sen. Bob Casey all won. Both Republicans and Democrats acknowledge that she’s a top recruit.
Gina Ortiz Jones is an Iraq War veteran who went to college on an ROTC scholarship and served as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." After her career in the Air Force, she advised on intelligence operations in Latin America and Africa, before advising on economic and national security issues in the Executive Office of the President. Gina is running for Congress in the district she grew up in and a district that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Her national security experience and commitment to middle-class families is why she is the candidate to flip this district in 2018.
Born in North Dallas and raised by a single mom who was a Dallas public school teacher, Colin Allred was an All-Star athlete at Hillcrest High School and earned a full-ride football scholarship to Baylor University. Diploma in hand and prepared to attend law school, Colin deferred his acceptance to play in the NFL. He was a linebacker for five seasons before sustaining a career-ending injury. After the NFL, he fulfilled his dream of becoming a civil rights attorney. After serving in President Obama's administration, Colin moved home to Dallas and is now running to represent the community where he grew up and a district that swung more than 17 points toward Democrats in 2016.
Ben McAdams is a seventh generation Utahn and father of four who currently represents 1.2 million people as Mayor of Salt Lake County. As a state legislator and as Mayor, McAdams earned a reputation as a leader who worked with Republicans and Democrats to create jobs, improve education, and reduce homelessness – all while balancing the budget. McAdams was reelected in 2016 by an even greater margin than in 2012. His congressional bid brought national attention to Utah's 4th District and earned it a designation as a ‘race to watch.’ Republicans in Utah and Washington have acknowledged that McAdams is a top recruit who puts this seat in play.
Elaine Luria is a small business owner and retired Navy commander running for Congress in Virginia’s 2nd District. Elaine was deployed six times to the Middle East and Western Pacific as a nuclear-trained Surface Warfare Officer and culminated her 20-year Navy career by commanding a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors. Elaine was one of the first women in the Navy’s nuclear power program and among the first women to serve the entirety of her career on combatant ships. Elaine then transformed an idea into reality when creating her thriving retail and art business, Mermaid Factory, which now has two locations. Elaine graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received a Master’s in Engineering Management from ODU, and lives in Norfolk with her husband and daughter.
Lisa Brown is an educator and public servant who has been one of the most prominent progressive voices in Washington State for over two decades. In the state legislature, Lisa spearheaded health care and education initiatives, fought to pass same-sex marriage, and earned plaudits for her bipartisan efforts to diversify and strengthen Eastern Washington’s economy. Lisa’s aggressive, well-funded campaign against Republican incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers and her fight for the rights of rural and working people has garnered statewide and national attention.
Randy Bryce is a U.S. Army veteran, father, cancer survivor, and union ironworker. Randy was raised in southeastern Wisconsin. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and was posted in Honduras, where he earned the Army Achievement Medal. After returning home, Randy worked to help homeless veterans find housing and jobs until funding for the program ran out. Shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with cancer. While he was recovering, he began an apprenticeship as an ironworker, and that was his ticket to the middle class. He has now worked the iron for more than twenty years. He’s been active in Ironworkers Local 8, on the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, and currently serves as president of the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce.