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UPDATED In Congress, Democrats say they're targeting Allen West -- but no mention of David Rivera

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has announced its targeted races for November, and -- no surprise for the country's largest swing state -- Florida features prominently on the list.

Among the targets is Rep. Allen West of Plantation, whose reelection fight promises to be one of the highest fundraising races this year, considering how much money West and his Democratic opponents,West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy, have already raked in.

The press release, which is after the jump, also mentions former Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando as having what the DCCC considers good odds for getting elected back to the House under new districts that have emerged in the state's once-a-decade reapportionment process.

Notably absent from the list: GOP Rep. David Rivera of Miami. In the past year or so, Dems have touted Rivera's opponent, state Rep. Luis Garcia of Miami, who outraised Rivera early on in the race while Rivera was under a cloud of legal trouble.

But with the noise about at least one of the investigations fading -- and with new maps reshaping Rivera's district -- the DCCC folks don't appear to consider Rivera one of the most vulnerable House members facing reelection.

UPDATE: Speaking to Florida reporters Wednesday afternoon, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel defended not including Rivera on the list. 

"David Rivera is one of the most challenged incumbents in the United States Congress. We want that district," Israel said. "We're hoping that Luis is able to expand his base and continue to work hard so that he will be eligible for red-to-blue status in the next go-around."

The status, Israel said, depends on the Democratic performance of a district, as well as on a candidate's ability to mobilize, fundraise and reflect the "values" of the district's voters.

Israel also spoke glowingly about Frankel and Murphy, West's challengers, saying the DCCC will not endorse in the primary but will work with the candidate who wins the primary -- and with the loser, if he or she goes down another "trajectory."

"Florida 22 will be one of the most important districts in the country," Israel said, referring to the district.

"A year ago we had a gale-force wind in front of us and now, a year later, we have a slight breeze behind our backs," Israel said of Democrats. Redistricting in Florida, which still has some 600,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans, should help the Democratic Party pick up five to seven congressional seats, Israel predicted -- perhaps somewhat too optimistically, since critics of the proposed maps note they protect incumbents.

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces First Round of Red to Blue Races

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel today announced the 36 races that have qualified for the first slate of the highly competitive Red to Blue program as the latest in the DCCC’s ‘Drive for 25’ campaign to win the House. This is the earliest in the cycle that the Red to Blue program has been announced.  These races have earned a spot on Red to Blue by surpassing demanding fundraising, organization and infrastructure goals and with candidates that demonstrate they are problem solvers who will represent new priorities when elected to Congress. 

The Red to Blue program is co-chaired by Congressman Jared Polis (CO) and Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD), and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz serves as the National Chair for Recruitment and Candidate Services.  Additionally, Chairman Israel announced three (3) Majority Maker candidates and 18 Emerging Races. 

“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,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel. “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.”

New Reuters/Ipsos polling last week showed that voters would support a Democratic candidate over a Republican candidate in their district by 4 points (48 percent – 44 percent) confirming a consistent Democratic lead that emerged this last fall and winter.

Red to Blue Races (18)


Ami Bera (CA-07)

Jose Hernandez (CA-10)

Mark Takano (CA-41)

Sal Pace (CO-03)

Val Demings (FL-08)

Keith Fitzgerald (FL-13)

Christie Vilsack (IA-04)

Brendan Mullen (IN-02)

Pam Gulleson (ND-AL)

Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02)

John Oceguera (NV-03)

Dan Maffei (NY-25)

Charlie Wilson (OH-06)

Kathy Boockvar (PA-08)

Nick Lampson (TX-14)

Denny Heck (WA-10)

Jamie Wall (WI-08) 

Paul Hirschbiel (VA-02)

Red to Blue Districts (18)

AZ-01 (Gosar-open)

CA-26 (Gallegy-open)


CA-47 (Open)

CA-52 (Bilbray)

CO-06 (Coffman)

CT-05 (Murphy-open)

FL-22 (West)

IL-08 (Walsh)

IL-10 (Dold)

IL-11 (Biggert)

IL-12 (Costello–open)

IL-17 (Schilling)

MD-06 (Bartlett)

MI-01 (Benishek)

MN-08 (Cravaack)

NM-01 (Heinrich-open)

WA-01 (Inslee-open)

Majority Makers (3)

Alan Grayson (FL-27)

Steven Horsford (NV-04)

Joaquin Castro (TX-20)

Emerging Races (12)

Clark Hall (AR-01)

Raul Ruiz (CA-36)

Leonard Bembry (FL-02)

David Crooks (IN-08)

Rob Wallace (OK-02)

Manan Trivedi (PA-06)

Jackson Eaton (PA-15)

Eric Stewart (TN-04)

Pete Gallego (TX-23)

John Douglass (VA-10)

Rob Zerban (WI-01)

Pat Krietlow (WI-07)

Emerging Races Districts (6)

AZ-09 (New-open)

IL-13 (Johnson)

MT-AL (Rehberg-open)

NY-13 (Grimm)

NY-19 (Hayworth)

SC-07 (New district)

About Red to Blue

The DCCC’s Red to Blue program highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country, and offers them financial, communications, grassroots, and strategic support. The program will introduce Democratic supporters to new, competitive candidates in order to help expand the fundraising base for these campaigns.  This is the earliest the DCCC’s Red to Blue program has been implemented in an election cycle.  

About Majority Makers

Majority Makers highlights Democratic candidates in strong Democratic districts.

About Emerging Races

Emerging Races highlights candidates and districts that are making themselves competitive by running smart campaigns which are becoming increasingly competitive.