Editor’s note: Below are Charlotte County DEC Legislative Liason Teresa Jenkins’ picks for the key districts around the country that Democrats need to win to regain control of the House.
(1) Open Seat, California’s 39th District. This is an Orange-County district where Hillary Clinton won by more than eight points in 2016. The District voted for Mitt Romney and John McCain. Young Kim, a Republican, will face Democrat Gil Cisneros.
(2) Iowa’s 1st District. This race is competitive because it includes one of Iowa’s most Democratic cities, Dubuque. The Republican incumbent, Rep. Rod Blum, could be in jeopardy as a result and is running against Democrat Abby Finkenauer. Hillary Clinton won this district by a margin of 3.5 points.
(3) Minnesota’s 2nd District. Voters went for Trump but their support is waning. This district encompasses Twin Cities suburbs . GOP incumbent Rep. Jason Lewis has cast himself in the shadow of Trump. Democrat Angie Craig is his challenger. Craig lost by 2 points in 2016 because an independent candidate who took vote away from the Craig.
(4) Open Seat. Arizona’s 2nd District. This is a Tucson-area district where former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick emerged as the Democratic nominee in the August, 2018 primary. As of this writing, her GOP opponent was too close to call, however, Lea Marquez Peterson has a slight lead over her rival, Brandon Martin. This district is typically one of the most important in the country as it includes parts of Tucson, Cochise County and Pima County and is almost evenly divided between registered Democrats and registered Republicans.
(5) Virginia’s 10th District. Currently held by Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock who disavowed Trump in 2016, but Democrats think the region is turning blue. Loudoun County, a conservative district, helped elect a Democratic governor in 2017. State Sen. Jennifer Wexton won the Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton won the presidential race in the district by 10 points.
(6) Open Seat. Minnesota’s 8th District. This district is expected to be one of the most hotly contested congressional races in the country. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan is retiring. The GOP candidate is a former police officer from Duluty, Pete Stauber. His Democratic opponent is Joe Radinovich who served in the state Legislature and recently worked for Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.
(7) Open Seat. Pennsylvania’s 6th District. GOP Rep. Ryan Costello’s Republican-leaning district in the Philadelphia suburbs has now shifted to a toss-up due to the redrawing of 18 congressional districts which ended up favoring Democrats. Chrissy Houlahan is the winner of the (unopposed) Democratic primary. She will run against Greg McCauley after incumbent Costello bowed out.
(8) Open Seat. New Jersey’s 2nd District. GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo’s decision to retire makes this Atlantic City-area seat competitive for Democrats. Liuba Grechen Shirley won the Democratic primary. She will face Peter King in the general election.
(9) Open Seat. Florida’s 27th District. Longtime GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is not running for re-election. This majority-Hispanic Southern Florida district went for Hillary Clinton by 20 points in 2016. Donna Shalala, the secretary for Health and Human Services under President Clinton, was the winner of the primary election in August. Her Republican opponent will be Maria Elvira Salazar, a former Spanish-language TV journalist.
(10) Open Seat. Pennsylvania’s 5th District. The GOP congressman who held the seat for eight years is retiring amid a sexual harassment scandal. New lines drawn by the Supreme Court reshaped this district. The old district narrowly went for Hillary Clinton by one point, yet she would have won the new district by nearly 30 points. Mary Scanlon, a Democrat, is running against Republican Pearl Kim. Trump won Pennsylvania by 0.7 points.
(11) Florida’s 26th District. Moderate Republican Cuban-American Rep. Carlos Curbelo won this seat by just under 12 points in 2014. Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is his Democratic opponent. Hillary Clinton won this Miami district by 16 points.
435 House seats are up for reelection. Stay tuned for updates.