With control of the House up for grabs and the number of competitive seats growing to 86, many congressional hopefuls have two more months of grueling politicking to look forward to as they barrel toward Election Day.
But not all of them.
Some 39 candidates are on firmer footing in their bids for open House seats. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates their races solid for either party. For all of them, securing the primary nod was tantamount to winning the general election.
Some of the sure shots, especially on the Democratic side, have drawn national attention. Those include New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Massachusetts’ Ayanna Pressley, Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Connecticut’s Jahana Hayes.
Of course, some of these sleeper contests once thought safe could turn between now and November. In May, Roll Call put out a list of 10 House hopefuls who looked like safe bets to enter Congress next year. Since then, West Virginia’s Carol Miller now finds herself facing a tougher-than-expected challenge from Trump-voting Democrat Richard Ojeda in a Likely Republican race.
Here’s a look at 10 lesser-known Republican and Democratic nominees who appear assured of winning their general elections.
Virginia’s 6th District
- A member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2002, Cline won the GOP nomination at the 6th District party convention in May.
- He was a onetime chief of staff to GOP incumbent Robert W. Goodlatte, who is retiring after 13 terms.
- The race drew national attention last month after Goodlatte’s son Bobby tweeted that he had donated the maximum amount to Cline’s Democratic opponent Jennifer Lewis and also criticized his father for “political grandstanding” in his role as House Judiciary chairman.
Pennsylvania’s 4th District
- The state representative easily won her Democratic primary for the newly drawn seat in May, ending former Rep. Joseph M. Hoeffel’s comeback bid.
- Her victory in the safe Democratic district means Pennsylvania appears poised to add at least one woman to its all-male congressional delegation next year.
- Dean initially ran for lieutenant governor but switched to the 4th District race after the state Supreme Court introduced the new congressional map.
Ohio’s 16th District
- Gonzalez, the son of a Cuban immigrant, comfortably won the GOP nomination in May, beating back a challenge from a state lawmaker backed by the political arm of the House Freedom Caucus.
- The former wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts received some financial support from friends from the football world, including former teammate Peyton Manning.
- The seat opened after GOP incumbent James B. Renacci announced a bid for governor. He later switched to the Senate race.
Mississippi’s 3rd District
- The district attorney for Madison and Rankin counties in the Jackson suburbs finished first in a six-way Republican primary in June, and then easily won a runoff with 65 percent of the vote.
- He had the endorsement of retiring GOP Rep. Gregg Harper, who is stepping down after five terms. He was named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns “Vanguards” program for GOP candidates likely heading to Congress next year.
New Mexico’s 1st District
- A former chairwoman of the New Mexico Democratic Party, Haaland comfortably emerged from a field of six to win the June primary.
- Democratic incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham is vacating her seat after three terms for a gubernatorial run.
- Haaland, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, would be the first Native American woman elected to Congress.
Michigan’s 9th District
- Businessman Levin overcame a challenge from a former state lawmaker endorsed by EMILY’s List to win the Democratic primary in August and appears poised to succeed his father, Rep. Sander M. Levin, who is retiring after 18 terms.
- A member of the Levin family has served in Congress since 1979, when his uncle, Carl Levin, began the first of his six Senate terms.
- This is his first run for elected office, though he previously served as director of the Michigan Energy, Labor and Economic Growth Department.
Pennsylvania’s 9th District
- A onetime Pennsylvania revenue secretary, Meuser easily won a three-way Republican primary for the newly drawn seat in May.
- As of the second quarter ending June 30, the Luzerne County businessman had loaned his campaign $985,000.
- This isn’t Meuser’s first bid for Congress. He previously ran from the old 10th District in 2008 to take on Democratic Rep. Chris Carney, but lost in the GOP primary.
Tennessee’s 6th District
- The former Tennessee agriculture commissioner won a five-way Republican primary in August in which the question of loyalty to President Donald Trump featured heavily.
- Four-term GOP incumbent Diane Black vacated the seat for an ultimately unsuccessful run for governor.
- Besides his deep ties to the state’s farming community, he also owns a software and technology company that trains IT professionals.
Michigan’s 13th District
- Tlaib won a six-way Democratic primary in August to succeed former Rep. John Conyers Jr., who resigned last year amid allegations of sexual harassment. She faces no Republican opponent in the fall.
- The daughter of Palestinian immigrants, she would be the first Muslim-American woman to serve in Congress, along with Minnesota’s Omar.
- She previously served three terms in the Michigan House before retiring due to term limits.
Maryland’s 6th District
- The wine magnate won a crowded eight-way Democratic primary in June in the race to succeed Rep. John Delaney, who is running for president.
- He’s poured more than $11 million of his own money into the race, more than any House candidate ever — except for Trone himself, who spent $13 million in his unsuccessful bid for the neighboring 8th District in 2016.
- He revealed late last month that he’s being treated for localized cancer but will remain in the race.
Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman, Eric Garcia and Griffin Connolly contributed to this report.
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