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NRCC Adds Another Member to Program for Vulnerable Incumbents

Donovan is a top Democratic target in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The National Republican Congressional Committee added newly minted Rep. Dan Donovan to its Patriot program Friday, signaling to its donor base that the New Yorker is among the GOP's most vulnerable House incumbents in 2016.  

The Patriot program provides organizational and fundraising support to the House GOP's most endangered members.  

"After a hard-fought win in New York's 11th District special election, Dan Donovan has proven he is able to run a strong and successful campaign," NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a release. "Dan is ready to hit the ground running in Washington and fight for transportation improvements, a better economy and good paying jobs."  

Donovan is now one of 21 Republicans in the program. Democrats are seeking to net 30 seats in order to win House control — a tough task based on the current congressional map.  

Donovan was sworn into the Staten Island-based 11th District earlier this week to succeed disgraces ex-Rep. Michael G. Grimm.  

Donovan, the former Staten Island district attorney, decisively defeated his Democratic opponent, New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile in the special election. Gentile had almost no support from national Democrats, who cited low special-election turnout and an unpopular New York City mayor as the reasons the contest was not within reach.  

Democrats say 2016 will be a different race . President Barack Obama captured the 11th District by a 4-point margin in 2012, and Democrats say presidential-year turnout will boost their party's nominee.  

Democrats first must find a strong nominee to challenge Donovan — something that's evaded the party in the past few cycles.  

The race is rated a Safe Republican contest by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.  

Related: NRCC Announces 12 Members in Patriot Program NRCC Adds 8 More Vulnerable Members to Patriot Program Dan Donovan Wins Special Election to Succeed Michael Grimm Grimm’s N.Y. District Stays in Republican Hands

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