Friends and Allies Kelly Ward, DCCC Executive Director First “Jumpstart” Candidates for 2014 Thursday, May 9

Since the beginning of the cycle, we have said that we will win in 2014 because of the success of our recruitment efforts in 2013. To that end we are excited to announce the Jumpstart program, the next phase in our recruitment efforts which are already ahead of schedule. DCCC Chairman Steve Israel created this new initiative this cycle to provide critical, early support to top-tier Democratic candidates in competitive districts. The newly-created Jumpstart program provides early financial, communications, operational and strategic support to help top-tier candidates get a head start in these highly-targeted races. The candidates named to this program are running to put problem-solving ahead of ideology and get results for the middle class families in their districts. Voters are fed up with the partisan ideology and obstructionism of this Republican Congress, and these candidates will offer the antidote. These Democratic candidates are well-positioned to win. The most recent Quinnipiac poll from last week had Democrats leading the generic Congressional ballot by 4 points (41 percent to 37 percent) and the newest Washington Post-ABC poll found that 70 percent of the public thinks the Republican Party is out of touch with average Americans. Here are the eight initial Jumpstart candidates:  Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (CA-31). In the most Democratic district held by a Republican, Mayor Aguilar has a proven record of delivering for families of the Inland Empire.  Judge Ann Callis (IL-13). Former Third Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Ann Callis is running for Congress to take her record of reform to Washington and be a strong voice for downstate Illinois families.  Farmer Michael Eggman (CA-10). Michael Eggman is a local farmer and beekeeper in the central valley who understands what farms and small businesses need to succeed.  Attorney Gwen Graham (FL-02). Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Governor Bob Graham, grew up in a family dedicated to public service, worked in the Leon County Public Schools and is committed to getting results for North Florida families.  Businessman Jim Graves (MN-06). Businessman Jim Graves will take his successful record as a job creator to get results for Minnesota middle class families

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and replace the ideology and celebrity-seeking of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. (NY-11). Councilman Recchia is a fiscally responsible leader who has proven his ability to get results as Chairman of the Finance Committee for the New York City Council. Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (CO-06). Congressman Mike Coffman is attempting to hide his extreme record in this increasingly moderate district while Speaker Romanoff has demonstrated his commitment to middle class families time and again. Former Army Ranger Kevin Strouse (PA-08). Kevin Strouse’s family has lived in southeastern Pennsylvania since before the Revolutionary War, and generations of his family have served in uniform, including him. Strouse spent the last decade first as an Army Ranger, then as a CIA analyst.

Chairman Israel began making calls to prospective candidates on Election Night 2012, and has assembled an aggressive Recruitment Committee chaired by Congresswoman Donna Edwards. Members of the DCCC’s Recruitment Committee and DCCC staff have already held 160 meetings with prospective candidates. The DCCC will announce Members of the well-known Red to Blue program later in the cycle for candidates who qualify by meeting critical benchmarks and metrics for their campaigns. Jumpstart is an initial launching pad based on the quality of the candidate and the viability of the district in races where off-year progress is critical to success, while Red to Blue remains a program candidates earn by hitting specific metrics for their campaigns. Democrats have a strong offensive playing field of competitive districts for 2014. Last month, the non-partisan Cook Political Report released its updated PVI (Partisan Voting Index) scores for the House districts. They found there are 17 Republican-held seats that President Obama won and a full 51 Republican-held swing seats with PVI scores between R+5 and D+5. This initial round of Jumpstart candidates will begin to lay the groundwork for Democratic success in these Republican districts.

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