Feb. 14, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Democrats Lend Hand to Fellow Candidates

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Former Rep. Dina Titus is raising a lot of cash for other Democratic candidates as part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Majority Makers program.

“I’m working very hard to win my own election and I want to go back to Congress, but I’d like to go back in the majority because I know that that’s a way to better serve my own constituents,” Titus said.

Israel hopes the generosity of Titus and her fellow Majority Makers provides an example for current Members in safe districts.

Israel said the state of the DCCC’s Member dues collection is “improving,” but the chairman is no doubt looking for more assistance in the party’s uphill climb to net 25 seats.

If Majority Makers candidates “can step up to the plate to put our Caucus in the majority, then everyone in our Caucus should step up to the plate to put our Caucus in the majority,” Israel said. “It’s hard for a Democratic incumbent in a relatively safe seat to argue that they can’t be part of the team when people who aren’t even on the team are supporting the majority.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee does not have an equivalent program this cycle, but in 2010, it launched a similar operation called the Young Guns Vanguard. Among the candidates included in that were now-freshman Reps. Todd Rokita (Ind.), Jeff Denham (Calif.) and Diane Black (Tenn.), who helped raise money for what amounted to a GOP majority.

After raising tens of thousands of dollars for his fellow GOP candidates during the 2006 cycle, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) — a founder of the NRCC’s Young Guns program — was the freshman representative to the House Republican Steering Committee, which sets committee assignments. Now in his third term, McCarthy is third in House Republican leadership as the Majority Whip.

“I think colleagues do remember those who went over and above,” Israel said. “And Dina has gone over and above.”

Titus’ schedule opened up after being drawn into the 1st district in redistricting and avoiding what would have been a costly and contentious June 12 primary with state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, a rising star who dropped out in deference to Titus. She is running for the seat of Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), who is challenging Sen. Dean Heller (R).

Her new district includes the urban core of Las Vegas and, at 37 percent, has by far the highest Latino voting-age population of the state’s four districts. Barring a primary challenge, Titus should be safe for the next decade.

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