National Republicans and Democrats continue to place their bets in Florida as they ready for 2018‘s congressional races.
Last week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) unveiled its first round of “Red to Blue” targets for 2018. While none of the “Red to Blue” races are in Florida, the DCCC also listed its “Majority Maker” targets.
“The House is in play in 2018 and incredible Democratic challengers are stepping up to run across the largest offensive battlefield in a decade,” said U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, the chairman of the DCCC. “These candidates have their own unique experiences rooted in these districts, but what they all have in common are records of service to their communities and our country.
“It’s still early in the cycle, but there’s no question that these candidates are building strong campaigns, energizing the grassroots, and raising the resources necessary to win in tough districts,” Luján added. “Candidates are our best asset, and that’s why I’m proud to announce the first round of our battle-tested Red to Blue program.”
The DCCC listed six Florida districts as part of its “Majority Maker” program as it targets the seats held by Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Carlos Curbelo, Ron DeSantis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Brian Mast and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Some of those seats could be open. Ros-Lehtinen has already announced that she will not run again in 2018 while DeSantis is expected to run for governor.
So far, not all of those seats look competitive. The Cook Political Report downgraded Curbelo’s district from “Lean Republican” to “Toss Up” on Friday. With Ros-Lehtinen out of the picture, the Cook Political Report moved her district to “Lean Democrat.” But the other seats could be a stretch with Mast’s seat ranked as “Likely Republican” and the others are currently considered “Solid Republican.”
In the meantime, Republicans are targeting two Florida Democrats in U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist and Stephanie Murphy.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which is led by U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, went after Murphy on Thursday for opposing the GOP on tax reform.
“The House just passed historic tax reform. Yet Orlando’s representative, Stephanie Murphy, is apparently anti-middle class,” insisted Madison Anderson, a spokeswoman for the NRCC, on Thursday. “She voted no to providing her constituents an average of $1,967.36 more in their paychecks each year.
“Although Stephanie tries so hard to look bipartisan – she just can’t help but bow to Nancy Pelosi on the big issues,” Anderson added. “Stephanie Murphy will be held accountable in 2018.”
The NRCC also took aim at Crist last week. Florida Politics reported on the NRCC hitting Crist in a digital ad for voting against funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The Cook Political Report currently ranks Murphy’s district as “Leans Democrat” while Crist’s district is “Likely Democrat.”