endorsement watch

RJC endorses challengers to eight endangered House Democrats

The RJC is backing challengers to nearly all Democrats in toss-up districts

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM) speaks during the Freedom Caucus press conference on immigration outside the Capitol on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

The Republican Jewish Coalition on Thursday announced its first round of endorsements of GOP candidates challenging incumbent Democrats in swing districts.

The group’s eight endorsees include military veteran and police officer Gabe Evans, challenging Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO); NASCAR driver and Maine state legislator Austin Theriault, challenging Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME); former Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM), challenging Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-NM); military veteran Laurie Buckhout, challenging Rep. Don Davis (D-NC); Ohio state Rep. Derek Merrin, challenging Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH); Ohio state Rep. Kevin Coughlin, challenging Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-OH); Pennsylvania state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, challenging Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA); and businessman Rob Bresnahan, challenging Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA).

The incumbents hold varying records on Israel and other Jewish issues, although some have broken with others in the Democratic Party on multiple occasions in recent months in support of pro-Israel legislation and issues. In a statement, the RJC described many of its endorsees as strong supporters of Israel, while characterizing their opponents as unreliable on or hostile toward Israel.

The incumbents are among the most endangered House Democrats — all of their districts are rated as toss-ups by the Cook Political Report

The only toss-up Democratic incumbent against whom the RJC did not yet endorse is Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA). Washington’s primaries aren’t until August, but Perez is expected to again face Joe Kent, who holds ties to the far right and has made various controversial comments.

Cook rates two other Democratic-held districts, Michigan’s 7th and Michigan’s 8th, as toss-ups. Both seats are being vacated by the incumbent lawmakers.

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