Working to expand the number of competitive congressional districts this fall, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has landed Colorado state Sen. Gail Schwartz to take on Rep. Scott Tipton in the 3rd District.
Schwartz, who is announcing her candidacy Friday, will challenge Tipton in a district Republicans carried by narrow single-digit margins in the 2008 and 2012 presidential races.
Also on Friday, the DCCC is adding Schwartz and five other candidates to its "Emerging Races" list, part of its "Red to Blue" program for strong Democratic candidates running in open seats or districts now represented by Republicans. The DCCC offers these candidates financial and strategic support.
"With the chaos and uncertainty at the top of the Republican ticket, our battlefield of competitive races continues to expand, and these candidates are well-positioned to earn the trust of voters and take advantage of this ongoing Republican dysfunction and the electoral winds it creates,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan, D-NM., said in a statement obtained first by Roll Call.
Another new candidate in "Emerging Races" is Democratic Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, who announced his candidacy for Wisconsin's 8th District on Thursday. A swing district at the presidential level, the seat is currently held by GOP Rep. Reid Ribble, who's retiring at this end of this Congress.
The other Democratic candidates include attorney Bryan Caforio, who is challenging freshman GOP Rep. Steve Knight in California's 25th District. President Barack Obama barely won this district in 2008; Mitt Romney narrowly won it in 2012.
In New York, retired Army Colonel Mike Derrik and Kim Myers made the list. Derrik is challenging freshman GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik in the 21st District, which Obama has carried twice. Myers is running for the open seat being vacated by retiring GOP Rep. Richard Hanna.
Thanks to redistricting in Virginia, Democrats picked up an additional safe seat in the 4th District — now effectively an open seat since Rep. J. Randy Forbes is running in the neighboring 2nd District. Democrat Donald McEachin has been named to "Emerging Races" for the new 4th District.