Democrats Unveil Targeted Legislative Candidates

By John Celock

A Washington based group dedicated to electing Democrats to state legislatures nationwide has unveiled a list of 50 targeted candidates for this year’s race.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee on Wednesday unveiled its list of 50 Democratic state legislative candidates the group is promoting around the country. The list includes candidates in 24 states around the country, including those in races that could determine which party controls a legislative chamber. The DLCC’s political staff determined the list in conjunction with state legislative Democratic caucus staffs around the country.

“With great candidate recruitment and a big emphasis on our field efforts, Democrats are in a great position to make strong gains in chambers across the country.” DLCC Executive Director Michael Sargeant said in a statement. “As extreme Republican legislatures continue taking aim at women’s health, working families, immigrants, and equal rights, we have real opportunities to win new majorities this election cycle.”

The list comes as Democrats are beginning to pay closer attention nationally to state legislative races, which have historically been focused on by Republicans. The DLCC said that the 50 candidates, who include both incumbents and non-incumbents, were determined based on the possibility of victory determining chamber control, the impact on the DLCC’s Advantage 2020 program and the work of the DLCC’s grassroots program.

The Advantage 2020 program, which the DLCC unveiled this summer, is a long term goal of the group to elect more Democrats to state legislatures before the 2020 round of congressional redistricting. Republican majorities in state legislatures following the 2010 elections have been credited with redrawing legislative maps to elect more Republicans to Congress and state legislatures.

Among those included on the DLCC list are New York state Sen. Cecilia Tkacyzk (D-Duanesberg) who is facing former GOP Assemblyman George Amedore in a rematch of their close 2012 race. Tkacyzk narrowly defeated Amedore by 18 votes in a newly drawn district that favored Amedore. A new poll has shown Amedore leading Tkacyzk in a race that could determine control of the New York Senate.

On Monday, New York Friends of Democracy, a super PAC funded by Democratic activist Jonathan Soros started an ad for Tkacyzk in an effort to return her to Albany. Soros was a major backer of Tkacyzk in 2012.

In Idaho, the DLCC is backing two Democratic challengers, Paulette Jordan and Dick Fosbury, in two of the most competitive state House races in the state this year. Jordan is challenging Rep. Cindy Agidius (R-Moscow) while Fosbury is attempting to unseat Rep. Steve Miller (R-Fairfield).

In North Dakota, the list includes University of North Dakota graduate student Kyle Thorson who is being touted by Democrats in the state as a top contender to grab a seat in the state House.

Full DLCC List

Arizona House District 28 – Dr. Eric Meyer

Arkansas House District 18- Damon Daniels
Arkansas House District 52 Radius Baker

Colorado House District 17 Tony Exum
Colorado House District 33 Dianne Primavera
Colorado Senate District 3–Leroy Garcia
Colorado Senate District 5-Kerry Donovan

Idaho House District 5A- Paulette Jordan
Idaho House District 26A Dick Fosbury

Iowa House District 15 – Charlie McConkey
Iowa House District 51 –- Laura Hubka
Iowa Senate District 5 – Daryl Beall
Iowa Senate District 41 – Steve Siegel

Maine House District 111- Ann Dorney
Maine House District 117 – Callie Pecunies
Maine Senate District 13- Chris Johnson
Maine Senate District 25- Cathy Breen

Michigan House District 41 — Mary Kerwin
Michigan House District 76 — Winnie Brinks
Michigan Senate District 7 — Dian Slavens
Michigan Senate District 32 — Stacy Erwin Oakes

Minnesota House District 01B – Eric Bergeson
Minnesota House District 02B – Dave Sobieski
Minnesota House District 14A – Dan Wolgamott

Montana House District 55– Doc Woerner
Montana House District 84– Mary Ann Dunwell
Montana Senate District 11– Vonnie Brown
Montana Senate District 32– Franke Wilmer

Nevada Assembly District 4 — Jeff Hinton
Nevada Senate District 8 — Marilyn Dondero Loop
Nevada Senate District 9 — Justin Jones
Nevada Senate District 20 — Teresa Lowry

New Hampshire Senate District 7- Andrew Hosmer
New Hampshire Senate District 8- Linda Tanner
New Hampshire Senate District 12- Peggy Gilmour
New Hampshire Senate District 18- Donna Soucy

New Mexico House District 4- Harrison Todacheene
New Mexico House District 37- Joanne Ferrary

New York Senate District 46– Cecilia Tkazcyk

North Carolina House District 41 – Gale Adcock
North Carolina House District 116 – Brian Turner
North Carolina House District 118 – Dean Hicks
North Carolina Senate District 9 — Elizabeth Redenbaugh
North Carolina Senate District 15 — Tom Bradshaw
North Carolina Senate District 18 — Sarah Crawford

North Dakota House District 43– Kyle Thorson
North Dakota Senate District 25– Perry Miller

Oklahoma Senate District 6- Joe Hill

Oregon House District 30 – Joseph “Joe” Gallegos
Oregon House District 51 – Shemia Fagan
Oregon Senate District 8– Sara Gelser

Pennsylvania Senate District 26- John Kane
Pennsylvania Senate District 32- Deberah Kula

South Carolina House District 15 — Tombo Hite

Texas Senate District 10 –Libby Willis

Washington House District 26-1 — Nathan Schlicher
Washington House District 28 – Christine Kilduff
Washington House District 44 – Mike Wilson
Washington Senate District 30 – Shari Song
Washington Senate District 45 — Matt Isenhower
Washington Senate District 48 – Cyrus Habib

West Virginia House District 3 – Holli Smith
West Virginia House District 4 – Dave Hall

Wisconsin House District 68 — Jeff Peck
Wisconsin House District 70 — Amy Sue Vruwink
Wisconsin Senate District 9 – Martha Laning
Wisconsin Senate District 17 — Pat Bomhack
Wisconsin Senate District 19 — Penny Bernard Schaber

Wyoming House District 46– Mike Selmer