We add two more to that list today. I'll echo what Markos said when introducing the last group brought on board: With 17 House candidates and seven Senate candidates, it's a big list. Adopt the candidates who speak to you, those races you think are most compelling. Maybe it's your district or state. Maybe the Republican opponent is incredibly odious. Contribute if you can, volunteer if you can, and help us get the gavel back to Speaker Pelosi.
Here are two more seats that will help accomplish that goal. It's now not all offense on Orange to Blue, we have to play some defense, too, to keep the good people we've got. So in addition to a challenger who's also a former congressman, today's endorsements include a newly redistricted Democratic incumbent.
Ohio Republicans thought they were playing a fast one by redistricting three-term Rep. Betty Sutton from OH-13, Sherrod Brown's former seat, into a Republican leaning OH-16. That pits her against another incumbent, tea party freshman Rep. Jim Renacci, who also just happens to be a millionaire. Check out this contrast in their bios.
Sutton comes from a quintessential Democratic mold. Raised in the backdrop of working class suburban Akron, she is the daughter of a union boilermaker and a library clerk. She worked her way through public university and law school, and has been a practicing labor attorney. Her allegiance lies squarely with wage earners over what she tags as special interests and millionaires—as she told a group of police and firefighters in August.Renacci, by contrast, owns a chain of nursing homes, In addition, as well as "auto dealerships, sports teams and other businesses. He’s a millionaire many times over—the 11th richest person in Congress—and his pro-business, anti-regulation stance is reflected in his top campaign donor list of PACs and corporations."
“Right now in Washington we have a controlling force that doesn’t fight for you the way you deserve,”says Sutton.”We have a Congress that would rather take the resources you need to buy new equipment and training, and sometimes save your jobs, and give to that multimillionaire or CEO, to that person that won’t play by the rules."
There hasn't been any publicly released polling on the race in a little over a month, but internal polling showed her with a slight lead, as did polls done by outside groups for her. Here's what our own Steve Singiser had to say about this one: "Meanwhile, the GOP has offered not a single counterpunch. Again, barring some kind of absurdly clever political jiujitsu, the only rational explanation for the silence on their end is because their numbers mirror those of Sutton's advocates, or they are worse than those of Sutton's advocates."
Here's a chance not just to keep a good Democrat in the House, but to knock off a GOP incumbent. Which wouldn't be a bad thing at all.
Former Rep. Rick Nolan represented MN-08 from 1975 to 1981, when he decided to leave Congress. He re-entered politics to take on the predictably odious freshman Republican, Chip Cravaack. Hypocrite? Check. He voted for Paul Ryan's budget, including slashing veterans' benefits, benefits he himself has received. War on Women? Check. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Actually double-check. He also called the Obama administration's new birth control rule "an act of federal aggression." Medicare? Of course, he voted with almost every other Republican to end it.
This is a very competitive seat for Democrats. The last polling, at the end of August, had Nolan with a slim lead, 47-44. Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar held the seat for 36 years before the teabagger onslaught ousted him with Cravaack in 2010. And President Obama carried the district with 53 percent in 2008. Which is undoubtedly why the National Republican Congressional Committee is spending more than $200,000 in ads a week against Nolan.
These two seats are as critical as the other 15 we've got on our list. All of them would help win the House back for Democrats, and all of them would make the progressive wing of the caucus stronger.