This Note, written just prior to the 2018 election, describes some Republicans from solidly Republican districts who, nevertheless, are particularly worthy to attempt to defeat.
Ruben Kihuen https://rubenforcongress.com/ is something of a golden boy in Nevada. He was elected (rounded numbers) to Congress at 35 to the state Senate at 30, to the state Assembly at 25. Bright, charming, handsome, a great athlete. Were it not for a foot injury, like one of his high school classmates, he might be finishing a career as a professional soccer player right now. Instead, he is finishing his political career, withdrawing from the Congressional race in response to accusations of sexual harassment.
Rick Nolan is an unusual man and an unusual politician. In his seventies, his current stint as a Congressman is his third career. His first career was also as a politician and Congressman. A young aide to Walter Mondale, after a brief stint as a teacher, he ran for Congress in 1972, lost in a close race, but won handily in the next three elections. In between his stints as a Congressman, Rick Nolan was a politically connected businessman. He was President of the US Export Corporation, then became head of the Minnesota World Trade Center.
Zak Wittkamp https://www.votewittkamp.com/is an ambitious 40 year old businessman. He see himself as an entrepreneur and an innovator. He owned a running supply store. He is a partner in a small, craft brewery -- Tradition Brewing Company. He attributes his interest in public service to his father who, as a civil engineer at Langley Air Force Base, was responsible for dealing with crises like oil spills. Zack Wittkamp sees himself as a problem solver rather than as a partisan. He withdrew from the race for personal reasons.
Jacky Rosen won the election for her open seat Congressional seat in 2016 -- by a scant 3943 votes out of just under 311,000 cast, the second smallest margin for a Democratic winning House candidate. In winning this election, Rosen became Ms. Smith goes to Washington; that is when Smith is a Jewish name. Wife of a radiologist, mother of an adolescent, Jacky Rosen had no thought about a political career until Harry Reid encouraged her to run for the open and swingy congressional seat held by Republican Joe Heck since 2011. Rosen was so successful, Reid encouraged her to withdraw from the Congressional race and run for the US Senate, which she did successfully.
Carol Shea-Porter is a University of New Hampshire graduate with a BA in social services and a Master's Degree in public administration. She graduated from Oyster River High School in New Hampshire. She returned to New Hampshire with her army officer husband and two children and became active in politics -- supporting Wesley Clark for President and subsequently, supporting John Kerry. As a candidate, preceding the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, she refused to take financial support from Corporate PACS or lobbyists. She has relied on small donations and get out the vote efforts. Having won and lost and won and lost this seat, she ultimately withdrew from the 2018 race.