These days, Anne and I feel like we’re at the center of the bullseye for a number of nationally-watched races. First we have Gretchen Driskell in the 52nd District who is the only Democrat in Michigan holding a seat in a majority Republican state House district. Then, of course, is the epic fight to reclaim the governor’s mansion for Democrats who hold the majority in Michigan.
Today we learn that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC or “the D-trip” as some call it) have named Democrat Pam Byrnes in Michigan’s 7th District to their “Jumpstart” program for hotly contested races. Byrnes is one of nine new candidates who join seven others who were announced last spring. All nine of the races named today are leaning or “safe” Republican seats showing that the DCCC is not taking anything for granted and is aggressively pursuing every race that it thinks can be turned blue.
DCCC Chairman Steve Israel announced today that nine new candidates are being added to the Committee’s Jumpstart program – taking to 16 the number of top candidates who are part of the new program. The Committee launched the new Jumpstart program earlier this year (pdf) to provide early financial, communications, operational, and strategic support to top recruits around the country. Since the start of the cycle, the DCCC’s priority has been to recruit top tier candidates and provide them the support needed to get an early jumpstart on success.
These candidates are committed to ending the partisanship and dysfunction that plagues this Republican Congress and puts middle class financial security at risk. Instead, they’ll focus on strengthening the middle class, reducing the deficit and protecting Medicare and Social Security.
“Our recruiting is already ahead of schedule, and these Jumpstart candidates are standouts – women and men who have spent their careers solving problems and putting the middle class ahead of partisan ideology,” Chairman Israel said. “Americans are tired of the unreasonable obstructionism of this broken Republican Congress, and these candidates will offer the antidote that Americans deserve – a willingness to come together with new ideas to work on reasonable solutions. From a Retired Navy commander to a local businesswoman to a sheriff and general, these Jumpstart candidates are getting a jumpstart on their path to victory and a head start on making Congress work for America’s middle class again.”
Byrnes, the former Michigan Speaker of the House said, “The only way to fix Washington is to support leaders who will put the bickering aside and get to work. Our middle class families can no longer afford the politics of’ ‘no’.”
Another Michigander, Jerry Cannon in MI-01, was also named.
Here are all of the new Jumpstart candidates and the political description of their races:
- Former State Senator Staci Appel (IA-03, “Republican Favored”)
- Businesswoman Erin Bilbray-Kohn (NV-03, “Leans Republican”)
- Former State Representative Pam Byrnes (MI-07, “Safe Republican”)
- Former General and Sheriff Jerry Cannon (MI-01, “Tossup/Tilts Republican”)
- Former State Legislator Jennifer Garrison (OH-06″Tossup/Tilts Republican”)
- Attorney Roxanne Lara (NM-02, “Safe Republican”)
- Former Senator Baucus State Director John Lewis (MT-AL, “Safe Republican”)
- Retired Navy Commander Suzanne Patrick (VA-02, “Safe Republican”)
- County Legislator Martha Robertson (NY-23, “Leans Republican”)
These original seven Jumpstart candidates are:
- Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
- Former Judge Ann Callis (IL-13)
- Farmer Michael Eggman (CA-10)
- Attorney Gwen Graham (FL-02)
- Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. (NY-11)
- Former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (CO-06)
- Former Army Ranger Kevin Strouse (PA-08)
Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to regain control over the U.S. House of Representatives.
This move by the DCCC should inject a great deal of enthusiasm (not to mention much-needed funding) into Byrnes’ campaign. My interview with her is HERE. She is holding a fundraiser tonight in Chelsea if you’d like to get to know her and help her out. Tickets are $50.
For more information or to RSVP please contact [email protected] Checks can be made payable to “Pam Byrnes for Congress” and mailed to PO Box 485, Dexter, MI 48130. Please indicate “Chelsea” on check.
Anne and I will be there. We hope you will be, too.
[Photo by Anne C. Savage]