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June 7th    , 2024                 Len’s Political Note #648 Who Should I give money to? Part 2.  Protect vulnerable House Seats currently held by Democrats.

2024                                      General Election

Five months left.  A reader asked me about my top candidates to give money to. I thought I should provide an answer to everyone. I have addressed the Senate in my last piece. Today, I write today, on June 1, about the House of Representatives. Of the 435 seats in the House, 218 are held by Republicans, 213 are held by Democrats.  Four seats are vacant. Three of the vacant seats were held by Republicans, one was held by a Democrat.  For general elections purposes think: 221 – 214.  To erase a difference of seven seats, all other things being equal, you have to flip four seats.

All things are not equal.  Redistricting in North Carolina will flip three Democratic seats.  Court decisions will flip two Republican seats in the South.  If the Democrats are trying to flip five seats, that is not enough.  Too much in politics is unpredictable to think  precisely.

The first order of business is protecting incumbents.  Here are nine seats to spend money on to protect and five more you should consider.

House Incumbents to protect

 New Mexico 02       Gabe Vasquez won election in 2022 by 1,350 votes.

  • A conservationist and formerly a Las Cruces City Councilor, he ousted the incumbent Republican, native American and realtor Yvette Herrell. In 2020, she ousted the incumbent Democrat. Gabe Vasquez is Mexican American.
  • As of March 31, Gabe Vasquez had $1.8 million; Yvette Herrell had $1 million
  • DONATE TO GABE VASQUEZ. See Len’s Political Note #536

Colorado 08             Yadira Caraveo won election in 2022 to this newly created district because of Colorado’s population growth by 1,632 votes.  She is probably running, this time, against Gabriel Evans, a helicopter pilot in the Colorado National Guard.  Yadira Caraveo is Mexican American.

  • A pediatrician who worked primarily with low income patients and former state rep. In Congress, she has proposed bills to ensure reproductive care for undocumented immigrants and proposed an age limit for some cannabis products.
  • As of March 31, Yadira Caraveo had $2 million. Her probable opponent had $340,000.
  • Republican funded polls in April reported Evans leading by 1 point and 5 points.
  • DONATE TO YADIRA CARAVEO. See Len’s Political Note #537

California 47            David Min won second place in California’s top two primary, winning a hotly contested race for that spot against another Democrat.  This is Katie Porter’s Congressional seat which she gave up in her ran for the US Senate.  Katie Porter won election in 2022 by 9,113 votes.

  • A California State Senator, like Katie Porter he had been a professor at the University of California, Irvine. Like her, he focused on legal issues related to banking and financial matters.  He is seeking to follow in her footsteps again. He has been particularly committed to social justice issues and, in that respect, has been supportive of finding a just solution to the Israel-Gaza war.  His opponent is Scott Baugh, the former Chair of the Orange County Republican Party.  David Kim is Korean-American
  • On March 31, Min had $400,000; Scott Baugh had $1.9 million
  • DONATE TO DAVE MIN. See Len’s Political Note #634

Michigan 07             Curtis Hertel is a former State Senator and legislative liaison for Governor Gretchen Whitmer. This was Elissa Slotkin’s Congressional seat which she is giving up in her fun for the US Senate.  Elissa Slotkin won election in 2022 by 20,185 votes.

  • The year that the Michigan House was tied, Curtis Hertel, Jr’s father was House co-majority leader. Curtis Hertel, Jr. held a variety of leadership roles in the state senate. Curtis Hertel is a Germanic name. In the legislature, he was particularly supportive of women’s issues and public employees. His opponent is former State Senator Thomas More Barrett.
  • On March 31, Curtis Hertel had $2.1 million; Barret had $1 million.
  • DONATE TO CURTIS HERTEL. See Len’s Political Note #601

Connecticut 05       Jahana Hayes won election to this western Connecticut district in 2022 by 2,004 votes.  She will be running against former State Senator George Logan.

  • A former national teacher of the year Jahana Hayes taught in a youth prison, then in the Waterbury Public Schools. In Congress, she has been pro-education and pro-union.  She is African American as is her opponent.
  • In late April, Jahana Hayes had $1.5 million, Logan had $750,000.
  • In November, a Republican funded poll found Jahana Hayes to be leading by 2 points.
  • DONATE TO JAHANA HAYES. See Len’s Political Note #542

Washington 05       Marie Gluesenkamp Perez won election in 2022 by 2,633 votes. She defeated Joe Kent, a right wing activst.

  • A graduate of Reed College, she and her husband opened an auto and truck repair garage; she was active in the Democratic Party. She has been both pro-reproductive rights and 2nd Amendment rights.  In Congress she co-chaired the Blue Dog coalition. Her father was an immigrant from Mexico; her mother’s family has been in Washington for five generations.   Joe Kent brings his experience as a former special forces’ member and CIA paramilitary to his right wing activism.
  • On March 31, she had $3 million, Kent had $600,000
  • DONATE TO MARIE GLUESENKAMP PEREZ. See Len’s Political Note #543

Alaska At Large      Mary Peltola won in 2024 by 24,792 votes, but that was after the top four (three after one dropped out) ranked voting was recalculated in an election where one of the Republicans, Sara Palin, was polarizing among Republicans.  In 2024, so far, there are only three candidates, one of whom is Republican Lt. Governor Nancy Dahlstrom.

  • A former judge on a Native American court and Director of an intertribal fish commission, she is a Native American and the only Russian Orthodox Christian in Congress. She authored a statute which created an office of food security in the Veteran’s Department.
  • A March poll showed her leading a three way race by 7 points.
  • DONATE TO MARY PELTOLA See Len’s Political Note #600

Michigan 08             State Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet is running for and is the probable primary winner of the seat that Dan Kildee is retiring from, a seat that has been Democratic and in the Kildee family for a long time.  He won this seat in 2022 by 34,872.

  • A Democratic State Senator, she is an advocate for labor and for public education. A Roman Catholic as were her parents, her dad, among other things, was a rodeo rider. Her probable opponent is former Trump official Paul Junge.
  • On March 31, she had $670,000. Junge had $1.1 million.
  • DONATE TO KRISTEN MCDONALD RIVET See Len’s Political Note #617

New York 18            Pat Ryan was elected in 2024 by 3,592 votes.  His opponent will be Allison Esposito.

  • A former county executive, businessman and army intelligence officer, he was elected in a special election and then the general. As a county executive, he piloted a universal basic program.  Behind in the polls for the special election, he appears to have won based on his support for women’s reproductive freedom.  I chose not to google to ask:  Is Pat Ryan Irish?  His opponent, Allison Esposito, is a former New York City policewoman and former Republican nominee for Lt. Governor.
  • On March 31, Pat Ryan had $2.8 million, Esposito had $400,000
  • DONATE TO PAT RYAN. See Len’s Political Note #545


Other incumbents you might want to consider as being in sufficient danger as to provide some financial support:


Two in Pennsylvania:       Susan Wild in PA 07 has a distinctive reputation for integrity. In 2022, she won by 2%.  On April 3, she had $2.7 million. Her opponent State Rep Ryan MacKenzie, had $125,000. Wild is Jewish.   Matt Cartwright, in PA 08, is a district like Wild’s that leans Republicans. Nevertheless, he keeps getting elected. In 2022, he won by 2.4%.  On April 3, he had $3.1 million.  His opponent, businessman Bob Bresnahan had $800,000.  Cartwright was originally from Canada.  DONATE TO SUSAN WILD, DONATE TO MATT CARTWRIGHT.  See Len’s Political Note #546.  See Len’s Political Note #547.

Three in Nevada:                Dina Titus of NV 01 won with 51.6% of the vote in 2022, She came to Nevada from the south to teach at a university and has been representing Nevada for a long time, long enough so that she was not a protégé of Harry Reid.  On March 31, she had $1 million.  Her probable Republican opponent, Flemming Larsen, who owns a restaurant chain in Nevada, had $1.5 million.           Susie Lee of NV 03 won with 52% of the vote in 2022.  Originally form Ohio, she came to Nevada from her job in the northeast, to work for the Las Vegas mayor on water issues.  She married a casino owner (who she eventually divorced), became a philanthropist, and, with Harry Reid’s support in her second effort, was elected to Congress.  On March31, she had $2.2 million. The Republican, of those competing in the primary against her, with the most funds had $700,000.  Steven Horsford of NV 04 was the son of an impoverished Black woman.  He became the adult in the family while still a child, became involved in union activity in his early twenties, and eventually ran for and was leader of the Senate before he ran for Congress. In Congress, he has been a member of the Progressive Caucus.  He has also found himself in embarrassing improprieties such as parking in a handicapped zone.  He has advocated a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, greater action toward gun safety, and health care as a right. In 2020, he won by 4.8%.  As of March 31, he had $1.7 million; the Republican candidate with the most money had $600,000.

DONATE TO DINA TITUS, DONATE TO SUSIE LEE, DONATE TO STEVEN HORSFORD.  See Len’s Political Note #583, See Len’s Political Note #553, See Len’s Political Note #568.

In every piece I will include reminders about the presidency.  Support Joe Biden Presidency
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

There could be presidential election years where it did not matter whether or not you donated to the presidential campaign.  Not this year.

  • 2020 was relatively close. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won: 51.3 – 46.8.  The electoral college was 306-232, but several states were close enough that the electoral college could have gone the other way.
  • As of 4/30/24, since 1/1/21, the Biden-Harris campaign had received $195 million. The Trump campaign had received $121 million.  That is probably an accurate reflection of the relative financial strength of the two campaigns.
  • In May, based on a quick count, relying on Likely voters when available, looking at national polls, head to head and not including third party candidates when possible, The most recent polls still show a balance between Trump and Biden leading. But, ominous for Trump, more than 50% of the respondents in a post verdict poll thought that his conviction was the right decision.
  • DONATE TO JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS See Len’s Political Note #605