In 2020, Republicans will need a net gain of 18-19 seats in order to retake the U.S. House of Representatives (depending on the outcomes of the special elections in NC-03 and NC-09). It’s a seemingly uphill battle for the GOP, as they have only gained more than 18 seats in a presidential election one time in the last 50 years. Despite the historical precedent, however, there are reasons for the party to have hope, including the fact that 31 Democratic members are currently sitting in districts carried by President Trump in 2016 (compared to three Republicans in Clinton districts).
How many of those districts Republicans flip back remains to be seen, but Democrats will rely on their ability to flip several districts themselves in order to maintain their House majority. Although their slate of candidates is still being set, there are a number of Democrats who lost their election last year and are now aiming to be the 2020 candidate. Of the 36 Republican-held races deemed competitive by The Cook Political Report, 10 include the 2018 nominee and another nine have the 2018 nominee considering another bid. AR/Intel compiled all the announced second-time Democratic candidates below.
AZ-06: Anita Malik, a marketing executive and former journalist, is running again against Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ). Malik lost her 2018 race to Schweikert by over 10 points, and The Cook Political Report rates the race as “likely Republican.” There are at least two other Democrats running for the nomination including Hiral Tipirneni, a doctor who was the Democratic nominee in Arizona’s 8th District last year.
CA-50: Currently the only Democrat in the race, Ammar Campa-Najjar is once again running to challenge Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA). Campa-Najjar, a communications consultant and former U.S. Labor Department official, lost the 2018 election to Hunter by a 52-48 margin. Although the district has an R+11 PVI, The Cook Political Report rates the race as “lean Republican.”
GA-07: The open race to replace retiring Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) has attracted a large number of candidates on both sides of the aisle. This includes Carolyn Bourdeaux, an associate professor at Georgia State University and director of the Center for State and Local Finance at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. When Bourdeaux ran against Woodall in 2018, she only lost by about 400 votes, which is likely why The Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss up.”
NE-02: Barely a month after she lost to Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) by 2 points, non-profit executive and social worker Kara Eastman announced that she was running again in 2020. The second district has an R+4 PVI and is rated as “lean Republican” by The Cook Political Report. There are at least three other Democrats running against Eastman, including Ann Ashford, an attorney who is married to former Rep. Brad Ashford (D-NE).
NY-01: Democrat Perry Gershon, a lending corporation executive, announced he was running again to challenge Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) in April 2019. Zeldin defeated Gershon in 2018 by a 4-point margin and The Cook Political Report still rates the race as “likely Republican.” Gershon is currently the only Democrat running, but others are still reportedly considering it.
NY-24: Dana Balter, a college professor and progressive activist, is once again running to challenge Rep. John Katko (R-NY), who is one of three Republicans sitting in a district carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016. In 2018, Katko defeated Balter by over five points, and The Cook Political Report rates the race as “likely Republican.” Balter is one of three Democrats currently running for the nomination.
TX-10: Texas’ 10th District has an R+9 PVI and was carried by President Trump by a 9-point margin in 2016. Next year, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) could once again face Democrat Mike Siegel, who he defeated by 51-47 margin in 2018. Siegel, an attorney and civil rights activist, will have to defeat at least two other Democrats who are currently running for the nomination. The Cook Political Report rates this race as “likely Republican.”
TX-22: In 2018, Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni, a former congressional aide and foreign service officer, lost to Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) by nearly 5-points. Texas’ 22nd District was carried by President Trump by nearly 8-points, has an R+10 PVI, and is rated “likely Republican.” Before he can face Olson again, Kulkarni will have to ward off at least one other primary challenger.
TX-23: Among the most high-profile repeat candidates for 2020 is Gina Ortiz Jones, an Iraq war veteran who lost to Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) by less than half of a point in 2018. Jones announced she was running in May of 2019 and has picked up endorsements from VoteVets, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and EMILY’s List. The 23rd district has an R+1 PVI and was carried by Hillary Clinton by 3.5 points in 2016, leading The Cook Political Report to rate the race as a “toss up.” There are at least four other Democrats currently running for the nomination.
TX-24: Jan McDowell, a former human resource officer, is once again running to challenge Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX). In 2018, McDowell fell short in her congressional bid, losing to Marchant by a 51-48 margin. Although The Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss up,” President Trump carried the district by six points, and it has a PVI of R+9. Before she can challenge Marchant again, McDowell will need to fight through a field of Democrats that currently includes at least five other candidates.