One-time loser, now Congresswoman-elect Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02)
Democrats are aggressively preparing for the 2014 House elections. Not only do they need 17 seats to retake the House, but the party holding the White House in its sixth year has lost seats in every election going back to 1918, and averages a loss of 30 seats.
So it’ll be challenging, to say the least. But as Democrats discuss their strategy to defy history—which includes re-recruiting candidates who did well but still lost in 2012—the Republican response is quite bizarre:
Republicans argue that Democrats are going down the wrong path in trying to field candidates like Demings, a former Orlando police chief, and Mullen, an Army veteran and political neophyte, saying they have yet to demonstrate they can win a high-profile congressional race.
“If voters are looking for a reincarnation of something from the past, they’re better off watching the new ‘Dallas,’” said Andrea Bozek, a National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman.
What a weird, odd thing to say. Here’s a list of Democrats elected in 2012 who have lost previous Congressional races:
AZ-01, Ann Kirkpatrick. Third race (won in 2008, lost in 2010).
CA-07, Ami Bera. Second race (lost in 2010).
CA-41, Mark Takano. Third race (lost in 1992 & 1994).
FL-09, Alan Grayson. Fourth race (lost primary in 2006, won in 2008, lost in 2010).
FL-26, Joe Garcia. Third race (lost in 2008 & 2010).
IL-08, Tammy Duckworth. Second race (lost in 2006).
IL-11, Bill Foster. Fourth race (won special & general in 2008, lost in 2010).
MN-08, Rick Nolan. Fifth race (lost in 1972, won in 1974, 1976 & 1978).
NV-03, Dina Titus. Third race (won in 2008, lost in 2010).
NH-01, Carol Shea-Porter. Fourth race (won in 2006 & 2008, lost in 2010).
NH-02, Ann McLane Kuster. Second race (lost in 2010).
NY-24, Dan Maffei. Fourth race (lost in 2006, won in 2008, lost in 2010).
WA-10, Denny Heck. Second race (lost in 2010).
Indeed, of the 47 new incoming House Democrats, 13 of them (or 28 percent) have previous experience running for Congress. It makes sense—challengers are at a big disadvantage against incumbent congresscritters. They don’t have the name ID, or the fundraising connections, or general experience avoiding campaign mistakes. Practice makes perfect, and there’s no better way to get better at running for Congress than running for Congress.
And of course, if losing a Congressional campaign was the end of everyone’s political careers, then we wouldn’t have a President Barack Obama, who got crushed 2-1 (62-31) in a 2000 primary against Rep. Bobby Rush in the Illinois 1st Congressional District.
1:52 PM PT (David Nir): Chas 981 adds one more: WA-01, Suzan DelBene (lost in 2010).