Democrats Announce New Red to Blue Female Candidates

Two candidates beat previous DCCC picks

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee named Lucy McBath, who is challenging Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., above, to its Red to Blue Program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Wednesday added four women to its Red to Blue program for strong challengers, bringing the total number of candidates on the list to 63.  

Some of the new candidates have gained national attention.

Kara Eastman (NE-02)

Eastman is challenging Rep. Don Bacon in Nebraska’s 2nd District. A supporter of single-payer health care, she beat former Rep. Brad Ashford in the Democratic primary in May. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Republican.

Lucy McBath (GA-06)

McBath is running in Georgia’s 6th District against Rep. Karen Handel, who won a much-watched special election last year. McBath, a gun control activist and a spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety, won her primary runoff last week. Her son Jordan Davis was killed in 2012 by a white man who was annoyed by loud music playing from the car Davis was sitting in. McBath was the only African-American and only woman in the race. Inside Elections rates the race Likely Republican.

MJ Hegar (TX-31)

Hegar is challenging Rep. John Carter in Texas’ 31st District. She gained national prominence when an ad chronicling her experiences in the U.S. Air Force went viral. Hegar outraised Carter in the most recent fundraising quarter but the race is still rated Solid Republican.

Dana Balter (NY-24)

Balter is running against Rep. John Katko in New York’s 24th District, which voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The race is rated Likely Republican.

Both Eastman and Balter defeated the DCCC’s previous “Red to Blue” candidate in their respective primaries.

The committee previously named Balter’s primary opponent Juanita Perez Williams to the Red to Blue Program ahead of the June primary and caused a divide between national and local Democrats in the district. In Eastman’s case, the DCCC added Ashford to Red to Blue in January of this year.

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