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April 28th, 2022         Len’s Letter #51 Democrats to support in EVEN and Democratic tilting districts

2022                          General Election

We must win almost all of the districts that tilt Democratic if we are to retain a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.  We can flip Democratic tilting districts with Republican incumbents and expand the Democratic majority.


MI 03 D+3 Hillary Scholten. See Political Note #447

Hillary Scholten ran for Congress in 2020 against Peter Meijer.  The seat was an Open Republican seat.  Now he is the incumbent.  Then it was a R+9 district.  Now it is D+3.  Hillary Scholten, graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, is perfect for this Grand Rapids seat.  With enough resources, she should be able to win in this reconfigured district.

In her first run for Congress, she explained that her great grandparents came to Grand Rapids from the Netherlands.  Her mom was an elementary school teacher, her dad a sportswriter and editor. She is raising her two young sons in her Christian faith, to think critically, and to stand for what is right

“….my mom’s work at a high-poverty school put us in touch with struggling families and students facing difficult times. We opened our home to these families in ways big and small. Seeing these families working hard, playing by the rules, and still living in poverty, disturbed me … .  I took the lessons I learned from my mom, and from my church, and dedicated my life to helping others.

“Seeing time and again throughout my life that the system is rigged for the wealthy and well-connected I realized that in order to make real change, we had to change the system.  That’s why I went to law school, [and] ……. worked for the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama Administration.  …. [O]ur goal was to create strong, fair, and moral immigration policies.

I’m running to make our schools even stronger….because our health system is broken…. because everyone deserves clean, running water…. because it is time women and girls in West Michigan saw themselves reflected in national leadership. I’m running to be a voice for West Michigan.  AND I HOPE YOU’LL JOIN ME.”

Go ahead. Join her.  (301)

NM 02 D+4 Gabe Vasquez. See Political Note #423

Gabe Vasquez is a City Councilor in Las Cruces.  He began his career with a BA in Journalism from New Mexico State University.  He worked for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, The Wilderness Society, the Western Conservation Foundation and has been the Deputy Director for Federal Lands of the Western Conservation Foundation for the last two years while also serving on Las Cruces’ City Council.  Gabe Vasquez would create, if he could, a Civilian Conservation Corps to “address a severe youth unemployment problem, address racial and social inequities, and help our nation reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Gabe Vasquez grew up hunting with his grandfather and fishing with his father. He has become an expert on New Mexico’s outdoors.  He helped found Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project in 2017 which provides “communities of color with sustainable opportunities for community engagement, access and education around public lands and waters…”. The Project says conservation is not a project for the elite.  Its leadership argues that “a person’s household income should never determine whether they get to enjoy clear air, water, and the outdoors…..”

The incumbent, Yvette Herrell, defeated a Democratic incumbent in 2020.  Help Gabe Vasquez return the favor.  (208)


If Democrats win all of these seats, they keep the majority.  If Democrats lose these seats, the five-seat majority is gone.  There is no place more important to put your money if you want a Democratic House.

CT 05 D+3 Jahana Hayes.  See Political Note #454

Jahana Hayes is an African American in a district that is 10% Black.  She is a local who grew up in public housing in Waterbury, in the southern part of this northwest Connecticut district.  Waterbury has 114,000 people and is often described as declining.  It was a tough city for the daughter of a single parent to grow up in.  Jahana Hayes credits her teachers for saving her, for keeping her in school and even, after she graduated from high school as a single mother, for sustaining her in her goal of completing college.

Jahana Hayes’  route into politics is unusual.  She was named national teacher of the year.  After attending Naugatuck Community College, the University of Saint Joseph and the University of Bridgeport, she returned to Waterbury to teach.  Married to a copy and burdened by $85,000 in student loans, hers was a blue collar life.  She connected with her students and insisted she taught “kindness” and “service.”

After Janaha Hayes was elected, she quarreled with the local press.  Local journalists suggested she would become a fifth member of the Squad.  That was the last thing she needed if she had thoughts of being reelected.  She was no radical.  In Congress, she voted to condemn the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement as anti-Semitic; she was visibly pro-union; and except for the Black Caucus, she stayed away from caucuses.   She told her community “We must support business owners who contribute to our community…”  Her principal Congressional issues have been access to quality education, affordable health care for everyone, food security, labor, agriculture, and the environment.

Her character and her agenda are appealing to most of us and to her constituents.   Let’s make sure Jahana Hayes is reelected.  (288)

NY 18 D+3 Sean Patrick Maloney.  See Political Note #448

Sean Patrick Mahoney is an openly gay man who has been elected to Congress five times in a district where there is an even chance that a Democrat or a Republican could win.  With redistricting this district which is mostly north of Westchester County has a D+3 tilt.

Sean Patrick Maloney is one of six children born to a Roman Catholic family. His father was involved in the logging industry in Canada and in New Hampshire.  He left home for Georgetown University, transferred to the University of Virginia and never looked back.  He got his JD at UVA, volunteered in Peru, then went to work on the Bill Clinton campaign planning the convention in New York. While in New York, Sean Patrick Maloney met the man to whom he is now married.

He continued working for President Clinton, eventually as a Senior Advisor to the President.  After the Clinton presidency was over, he joined a law firm, but his interest was politics. He ran for Attorney General, losing to Andrew Cuomo.  He went to work for Eliot Spitzer and then his successor as New York’s governor, David Paterson.  In 2012, he was elected to Congress.

In Congress, he established his moderate to conservative credentials by joining the Problems Solvers’ caucus.  He disappointed progressives by supporting a delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and abandoning the balance between military and domestic spending.  He has established himself as an opponent of Donald Trump, a position which appears to have helped in this slightly Upstate district.

You can help him, too.  Every redistricted Democratic incumbent needs resources to reach new constituents.  Help him do that. (275)

NV 01 D+4 Dina Titus. See Political Note #444

Dina Titus has not been on a list of endangered Members of Congress for a long time.  Nevada’s redistricting moved her district from an unlosable D+22 to D+4.  At 71 years old, she has to get herself up what could be a tough primary and a tough general election.

Her primary opponent, Amy Vilela, is a Medicare for All proponent who has lost a primary before.  Dina Titus’s $1.1 million entering April should be sufficient to win the primary in June.  Vilela has already spent most of her $400,000 and entered April with only $47 thousand left.

Dina Titus’s potential Republican opponents have accumulated enough money to compete.  Fortunately for Dina Titus and for us, three of them have about $250,000.  They will have to spend a good portion of that money between now and June as they each work for the nomination.

Dina Titus is an academic who never graduated from high school.  She left her high school in Georgia for a summer program at William & Mary and somehow stayed there to get a BA.  She came to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a doctorate from Florida State to teach US history and, eventually, Nevada history.  A student of nuclear programs in Nevada, she has been an opponent of the Yucca Flats nuclear waste storage.

Partly because she is from Georgia, partly because she was never a protégé of Harry Reed, she is seen as a moderate Democrat.  She brings that reputation to what is now a toss-up district.  Dina Titus her win the toss.  (259)

GA 02 D+4 Sanford Bishop See Political Note #455

Sanford Bishop’s district become a little less Democratic – D+4 instead of D+6.  Since 1992, he has won regardless of the composition of the district.  He won in 1996 when GA 02 was redistricted to become much whiter.  He won in 2010 during the Red Wave.  He can win in 2022 if he has enough support.

Sanford Bishop is the son of the first president of the Mobile, Alabama two-year school that was eventually renamed Bishop State Community College.  He took a different route.  He went to Morehouse to get his BA, to Emory to get his law degree.

A sole practitioner lawyer, Sanford Bishop was in his first term as a state rep when an opportunity arose. The incumbent white Democratic Congressman had become entangled in the check-writing scandal.  He had written the fifth largest number of checks from the Congressional account and had left his account overdrawn for almost three years.

Sanford Bishop made good on the opportunity.  He won the run-off and the general election.  He persuaded conservative white, rural voters to vote for him because he was conservative.  He became a member of the conservative Blue Dog Caucus snf described himself as a leader of the fiscally responsible Democrats.

Sanford Bishop enhanced his popularity because he was a joiner —  a Shriner and a Mason,  a supporter of the Boy Scouts, a life member of his Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.   A constituent said of him “He just knows how to talk to people….”

Sanford Bishop entered April with $725,000 for his campaign.  That’s not a lot of money for a Congressional race, but his potential Republican opponents have half to a third as much Because Sanford Bishop is a national Republican target, whoever wins the Republican primary will get a lot more.

We should help Sanford Bishop nowProvide him with enough so that he is well ahead before the Republican primary.  (315)

NY 19 D+4 Antonio Delgado. See Political Note #232

Antonio Delgado entered April with $5.8 million dollars.  He’ll need every dollar and more.  Republicans have made him one of their national targets.

Antonio Delgado’s opponent is Marcus Molinaro. Molinaro has his own story to tell.  Divorced parents, mom and kids needed food stamps. Mayor of Tivoli at age 19 and continued for five terms.  Molinaro’s principal successeswere his three successful elections as Dutchess County Executive.  His major disappointment was being clobbered by more than 2 to 1 by Andrew Cuomo in the race for Governor in 2018.

Antonio Delgado has his own story.  His parents worked for GE in Schenectady, He played basketball in high school and for Colgate, earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and returned to the US to get a law degree from Harvard.

He tried a different route. An African-American and Hispanic, he wanted to reach encourage youth to lead a positive life.  He went to the West Coast, created a rap music label, and tried to reach youth through music.  After a few years, he returned to the practice of law.

Antonio Delgado joined Akin Gump, lived first in New Jersey and then in Dutchess County where his wife was from.  There, he decided on a run for Congress.  He won by a fewer than 20,000 votes and joined a small group of Black Members of Congress from majority white districts.  In Congress he eschewed the ideological caucuses, but joined lots of specific purpose ones – the rural caucus, the labor caucus, the pre-k caucus and many more.  He attempted to work across the aisle and was recognized as the most bi-partisan Democrat.  He stayed in touch with his district, holding more than 65 town hall meetings with constituents.

Let’s keep Antonio Delgado in Congress.  Provide him with the additional resources he’ll need to either fight the big money Republican onslaught or prevent it from happening.  (311)