Eight CA districts are DCCC ‘Red to Blue’ targets

California accounts for a significant number of the districts identified today by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as the first slate of its “Red to Blue” program, targeted for its “Drive for 25” campaign to win back the House.

The program highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country, and offers them financial, communications, grassroots, and strategic support, not unlike the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” program

The DCCC identified 18 races nationwide – including three in California – that have surpassed certain fundraising, organization and infrastructure goals “with candidates that demonstrate they are problem solvers who will represent new priorities when elected to Congress,” according to a news release.

Those California candidates are Dr. Ami Bera of Elk Grove, who’s going for a rematch against Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, in the newly drawn 7th Congressional District; former astronaut Jose Hernandez of Stockton, who wants to take on Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, in the newly drawn 10th Congressional District; and Mark Takano of Riverside, who’s running against Republican John Tavaglione, a Riverside County supervisor, in the newly drawn and incumbent-less 41st Congressional District.

Another four California districts – the 26th, 31st, 47th and 52nd – made the DCCC’s list of 18 Red to Blue Districts in which there’s more than Democratic candidate vying in the primary. The only Republican incumbent in any of those is Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-San Diego, in the 52nd; Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, recently announced he won’t seek re-election in the 26th, and redistricting left the other two without incumbents.

And the DCCC named Raul Ruiz, who’s running in the 36th Congressional District against incumbent Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, as one of its six “emerging races” that are becoming increasingly competitive.

“These candidates are going to be aggressively holding Republicans accountable for consistently choosing millionaires over Medicare, oil companies subsides over middle class tax cuts and ideology over solutions,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in the news release. “In 2012, House Republican candidates are going to have to defend the indefensible. Allyson Schwartz, Jared Polis, and Donna Edwards know what it takes to win and will provide top notch leadership to our candidates.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Lars54

    There is a highly competitive race going on – in the Democratic party in the 15th district, a district that encompasses the tri-valley, hayward, San Leandro and so forth. I think it’s a race to watch.
    Pete Stark – whose 81 now – is facing this 32 year old Dublin City Councilman and Alameda county prosecutor, Eric Swallwel. One of the reasons I find this race interesting is the contrast in candidates; The blustery, obnoxious Stark is your classic old time machine politician – like a bad lounge singer from the early 70’s, while Swalwell is your more modern politician, cool, cerebral, more of an new idea guy.
    A key issue relevant to this race is the aging of the California Democratic delegation, many of these career Representatives are getting old, with Pete Stark being the oldest at age 81. Will the older generation ever move over for the younger?
    Clearly many of these older Representatives don’t want to give up their jobs – the perks and bennies are great, but I’ve got a problem with that because in Pete Stark’s last five two-year terms 100 million Chinese have been elevated to the middle class, while middle class jobs in the US are disappearing in droves, especially in the 15th district. We also now finance the US federal budget with loans from the Chinese – the federal debt has become just massive.
    With the all these people out of work in the 15th district, and people worrying about losing their jobs, the loud, obnoxious bufoonish Stark – who has been in Congress for decades, doesn’t seem like the answer, not anymore.
    I think the right Democratic candidate for the 15th district is the youthful Eric Swallwell. We need new ideas in Washington, a fresh approach. We need a candidate for Congress from the 15th that will come up with some sort of plan or solution on how to put people back to work, we need to stop the bleeding of US job to other countries. In my mind Pete Stark is the jobs-going-overseas candidate for Congress – look at his record. Where are the middle class jobs? Hasn’t Stark and many of his Congressional pals been asleep on the job the last decade? I think so, time for some new leadership in Congress from the tri-valley area.

  • Elwood

    @ Lars54

    Yes, we know that you think the sun rises and sets in Eric Swalwell’s ass.

    Isn’t there some other topic you’d like to discuss?

  • Truthclubber

    @2 — does that mean if he mooned anyone, they would see an eclipse?

  • Fremont_Politics

    @ Lars54

    Stark is a true public servant.

    It seems out of place to elevate your candidate – Swalwell – at the expense of a progressive champion like Stark. Hurling criticisms and insults at a man who’s given his life to public service, the Democratic Party, and the causes they’ve fought for may not be the best way to make a case for Swalwell.

    Instead, tell us what we get by voting for Swalwell – what does he stand for, what is his area of expertise, what experience does he have that makes him the best choice.

  • Lars54

    Freemont politics:

    Stark lives in Maryland, shows up in his district every two years right around election time, gets re-elected, and then disappears for another two years. He knows almost nobody in the district, he is an absentee Congressman.
    Voters passed this reform ballot measure – a commission now draws up districts – because they wanted reform, they wanted an end to the permanent Congress. “Safe seats” leads to corruption and complacency, the same faces in Congress year after year, with the same results – such as double digit unemployment and record deficits.
    Democractic Minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s answer to voters call for reform is to ram Pete Stark down our throats for another term, this absentee Congressman who is never around. Stark has been running for office since 1969, he is a poster child of a career politician. This is just an insult to all those voters who voted for reform. I am outraged.
    Voters want real elections, real candidates, not phony baloney “pretend” elections. That’s what we’ve had for decades – there has been almost no turnover of Representatives.
    Pelosi is blocking reform, she is lining up all this special interest money to back Stark for another term – in this new 15th district created by the commission, even though nobody – except Pete Stark – in anxious to see Stark re-elected. He is 81, can barely work a two hour day, it’s just ridiculous to have this guy running in this newly created district. Voters are looking for a fresh start, new blood, yet Pelosi’s answer is Pete Stark!
    Meanwhile, we’ve got this hometown hero running for Congress, 32 year old prosecutor and Dublin City Councilmen Eric Swallell, he’s gots lots of ideals, passionate about making a difference, improving the quality of peoples lives. The guy is a go getter.
    If I seem angry, well, what can I say. Hate to see all this special interest money being raised to crush the candidacy of our hometown guy. You can make no case Pete Stark needs another two year term- he’s be in office 40 years. Nor can you make a case Stark deserves another term – record unemployment, record deficits, it’s just a no brainer, we need change in Washington DC.
    I’m not working on Swallwell campaign, but I can spot a really great candidate for Congress. This Swallwell guy is the best candidate to run for Congress in NorCal in a decade. But the Washington folks answer is to his candidacy is Pete Stark, they are scheming to crush Swallwels candidacy with this political hack Pete Stark. I don’t like it, and I’m going to continue to speak out about it.

  • Rick K.

    “Live Shot” Garamendi is a career politician who deserves to be kicked out of Congress. He’s been running for office since 1974 (including umpteen failed gubernatorial campaigns). A moderate Republican who is truly independent (e.g. refuses to sign the Norquist tax pledge) could oust him this November. Garamendi has used his string of public offices to enrich his friends and family. Why doesn’t he finally come clean and explain exactly what he did as “Washington, DC investment partner” for the Yucaipa Companies in 1998-2001? He preaches populism, but acts as a handmaiden to the “1 percent”. Occupy UC Davis, ask Garamendi about that! Why doesn’t Garamendi explain the sweetheart deal he gave to Leon Black, et al. in the Executive Life insurance company sale while Garamendi was insurance commissioner? Even fellow Democrat Bill Lockyer as Attorney General has criticized Garamendi for his incompetence/corruption in that matter. Look at the Forbes Magazine expose- http://www.forbes.com/global/1999/1227/0226024a.html
    Garamendi pretends that he cares about UC Davis students and their tuition increases, yet his own son John Garamendi, Jr. was a $210,000 a year UC administrator, appointed around the same time that Garamendi Sr. served on the UC Merced Foundation Board. Coincidence? Or Nepotism? Fellow Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has criticized Garamendi for serving as three years as Lt. Gov./Chairman of the California Economic Development Commission without coming up with an economic development plan! Garamendi is too busy to deal with his congressional constituents and their concerns because he’s always acting as a talking head on cable TV news and on C-SPAN — hence his “Live Shot” nickname. It’s time for “Live Shot” Garamendi to be kicked out of public office onto his carpetbagging posterior and retired to his ranches (one of which is so large that he claimed to the NY Times that it is in not one, but two, congressional districts!).

  • Truthclubber

    @5 —

    Lars54, where are you? Quick, jump over to the Chronicle and start spamming there as well!

    Quick, quick like a bunny, now!

    Pete Stark may put Ro Khanna’s rise on hold

  • Elwood

    Oh, thank you Jesus for Eric Swalwell and his disciple Lars54.

    You are a loony.

  • Truthclubber

    Better be careful, Lars54 — we might have to break out the troll spray on you if you keep this constant and obnoxious Swalwell shilling up!

    For you at home, here’s how to spot Lars54 when you are out and about — enjoy!