Democrats have their eyes on five Illinois congressional districts as part of their ultimate plan to regain control of the House of Representatives during the November elections. This afternoon, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced the first-round of candidates in its Red-To-Blue program, which "highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country, and offers them financial, communications, grassroots, and strategic support," according to the web site.
Five of the 18 seats on the Red-To-Blue district list were in Illinois, including that of Tea Party sweetheart U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-8).
“This announcement shows that our campaign has the financial, strategic and grassroots strength to take back the seat from Joe Walsh," said 8th congressional district candidate Tammy Duckworth in response to the news. "We are offering 8th district residents an alternative to the screaming and extreme ideology of the Tea Party, and we are going to win.” Duckworth is up against fellow Democrat and former deputy state treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi in the March primary race for the party's nomination.
The four other Illinois districts listed on the Democrat's blueprint to regain the House are those represented by U.S. Reps. Bob Dold (R-10), Adam Kinzinger (R-11), the retiring Jerry Costello (D-12), and Bobby Schilling (R-17). Long-time Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert currently represents the 13th district, but is looking to run in the 11th after being moved there in the remap. Her petition filings are currently being challenged. There are three Democratic candidates running for the party nomination in the 11th district with former 14th district congressman Bill Foster likely having the most name recognition and fundraising ability.
In the 10th congressional district, the race for the Democratic party nomination is crowded with five candidates. John Tree, Iyla Sheyman and Brad Schneider are garnering the most attention in that race. Democrats Brad Harriman, Christopher Miller and Kenneth Wiezer are running in the 12th congressional district and Cheri Bustos, Greg Aguilar and George Gaulrapp are looking to unseat Schilling in the 17th.
Here's more on the first round of candidates for the DCCC's Red-To-Blue program from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: