Three Veterans Announce They’re Running for House as Democrats

Two of them are running in GOP-held districts that Hillary Clinton won

Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan, left, who served as cheif operating officer and chief financial officer for Springboard Collaborative, announced she's running against Rep. Ryan Costello in Pennsylvania (Courtesy Chrissy Houlahan for Congress)

Three military veterans are announcing Tuesday they’re running as Democrats against Republican incumbents.

In California's 50th Congressional District, retired Navy SEAL Josh Butner will challenge Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter.

Butner has made San Diego his home for a decade and, like Marine Corps reservist Hunter, served in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Hunter faces a criminal investigation by the Justice Department over the use of campaign cash for personal reasons, including claiming costs of flying a pet rabbit on a commercial flight.

But his district is reliably Republican and he won re-election in 2016 with 63.5 percent of the vote.

In Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, Chrissy Houlahan, an Air Force veteran, announced she would challenge Rep. Ryan Costello

In her announcement, Houlahan criticized President Donald Trump and cited her military experience.

“I welcome the opportunity to bring our shared values — actual American values — together with our commitment to families, education, our veterans, and smart business solutions to the district,” she said.

Costello is one of a few Republicans whose district broke for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, according to an analysis by the liberal website Daily Kos.

But that makes it no less of a heavy lift for Houlahan, since Costello won his district last year by more than 14 points. 

And in Colorado’s 6th District, Retired Army Ranger Jason Crow announced he would challenge Rep. Mike Coffman.

The district has long been eyed by Democrats. While Clinton won the district, Coffman won the district by more than eight points.

Both Costello and Coffman’s district were targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in a list released in January..

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