Serve America Candidates Enter 2018 with Momentum

It's election year, and thanks to hard work and strong performance in the fourth quarter of 2017, the service-driven leaders we're supporting are in a strong position to start 2018. Serve America has endorsed 19 candidates so far, and 4 of them are now running to represent open seats, after more Republican incumbents decided to retire. Meanwhile, donors helped 10 Serve America candidates raise more in Q4 than the incumbents they're challenging in the 15 races where an incumbent is seeking reelection. Read on for highlights from each of the campaigns we've endorsed!


Josh Butner | 50th District, California

Josh's supporters contributed $101,487 in Q4, besting incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter for another consecutive reporting period – the Republican only generated $50,703. The Times of San Diego covered Josh's momentum, while Rep. Hunter's prospects look ever more bleak. The San Diego Tribune reported that University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato predicts the incumbent is very vulnerable.

 

Gil Cisneros | 39th District, California

Serve America endorsed Gil in the fourth quarter last year as he raised $92,149 in his effort to represent California's 39th. He was also endorsed by Gabby Giffords' gun reform group. Incumbent Rep. Ed Royce faced protests in his home district last year – and announced early this year that he won't seek reelection. This surprising retirement by the 13-term veteran, currently Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, is a sign of the strength of the call for change in Washington.

 

Jason Crow | 6th District, Colorado

Jason Crow's campaign to challenge Rep. Mike Coffman is gaining momentum: the former Army Ranger was supported by $274,482 in contributions in Q4, while the incumbent only raised $242,530. He's getting his message out, too – the Aurora Sentinel published his op-ed calling for servant leadership, and Denver's ABC affiliate reported that he earned the support of Gabby Giffords' gun reform group and was selected for the Democratic Party's "Red to Blue" program for flippable seats. Meanwhile, polling showed that Rep. Coffman's support for the GOP tax scam resulted in an 8-point advantage for a generic Democratic ballot in CO-6.

 

Dan Feehan | 1st District, Minnesota

Dan Feehan's supporters contributed $151,784 to his campaign to represent MN-01. The Mankato Free Press reported that he took a "massive" fundraising lead over other Democratic contenders for this open seat. His message of service is getting out, too: the Austin Daily Herald published a letter to the editor praising his experience serving in the Army and in the classroom.

 

Jared Golden | 2nd District, Maine

Jared Golden pulled in $241,244 in contributions in the final quarter of 2017, and the Bangor Daily News published his promise to leave no Mainer behind. Incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin raised $479,026, and local frustration with his support for the GOP tax scam was voiced in the form of a letter to the editor in the Bangor Daily News.

 

Ken Harbaugh | 7th District, Ohio

Ken Harbaugh's supporters contributed $263,833 in the final three months last year, surpassing incumbent Rep. Bob Gibbs, who only raised $85,964. Ken released a powerful video, and his message that Congress should be giving middle class families a tax break, not wealthy corporations, is appealing to Ohioans.

 

Chrissy Houlahan | 6th District, Pennsylvania

Chrissy was backed by $411,628 in contributions in Q4, besting incumbent Rep. Ryan Costello's $322,448 fundraising total. She was called "The Everything Candidate for Congress" and was named to the Democrats' "Red to Blue" program for promising candidates in competitive districts. Rep. Costello, meanwhile, had what the Unionville Times called a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week."

 

Roger Dean "RD" Huffstetler | 5th District, Virginia

RD's supporters contributed $186,852 to his campaign in the final three months of 2017, more than double the sum ($90,325) raised by incumbent Rep. Tom Garrett. RD shared his campaign's core values with voters, while activists in Charlottesville protested the GOP's tax scam, which Rep. Garrett supported.

 

Gina Ortiz Jones | 23rd District, Texas

Gina Jones was backed by donations totaling $207,542 in the fourth quarter. The Air Force veteran was endorsed by EMILY's List and Gold Star father Khizr Khan. Despite incumbent Rep. Will Hurd raising $300,092 in the same period, the GOP can see the writing on the wall: they mobilized a Paul Ryan-aligned super PAC in this district.

 

Brendan Kelly | 12th District, Illinois

Serve America endorsed Brendan Kelly in Q4 as his supporters contributed $310,086 to his campaign, outraising incumbent Rep. Mike Bost, who generated $248,132. The Southern Illinoisan covered the platform Brendan laid out for his campaign, and he was named to the Democrats' "Red to Blue" program. 

 

Joseph Kopser | 21st District, Texas

Joe raised $257,758 in the fourth quarter, and the Austin American-Statesman reported on a notable "Democratic energy" in the area. Incumbent Rep. Lamar Smith must have perceived that energy, because he announced in November that he would not seek re-election – a surprising coup for Democrats against the 16-term incumbent who is currently Chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in the House.

 

Conor Lamb | 18th District, Pennsylvania

Conor Lamb is generating national interest in his first-time candidacy to represent PA-18, resulting in $557,551 in donations in the fourth quarter. The former Marine and federal prosecutor is raising speculation he could be "The Next Doug Jones." Meanwhile, his opponent Rick Saccone only generated $161,776. Ahead of the March special election, "Republicans are bracing" in this "usually reliable" part of Pennsylvania, according to Politico.

 

Dan McCready | 9th District, North Carolina

Dan's team helped him bring in $341,863 in Q4, showing strong momentum and besting incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger's $205,786. In the local press, the Fayetteville Observer reports that Dan is "far ahead" in the primary for the Democratic nomination, and the Charlotte Observer notes that "[Rep.] Pittenger is in a particularly precarious situation."

 

Amy McGrath | 6th District, Kentucky

As Amy continued to capture national headlines in Q4, she brought in $320,967 in donations. The Daily Beast wrote a profile, and Bloomberg said she has a "bracing message for America." Incumbent Rep. Andy Barr raised $411,745.

 

Max Rose | 11th District, New York

Serve America endorsed Max in the fourth quarter last year; he was backed by $333,053 in the same period. He talked about his decision to enlist in the military after graduate school for a profile, and Kings County Politics covered his candidacy. Meanwhile, incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan suddenly faces a challenging primary as former U.S. Rep. and convicted felon Michael Grimm announced he is once again running for Congress. Rep. Donovan raised $379,410.

 

Pat Ryan | 19th District, New York

Pat's supporters contributed $314,508 to his campaign in Q4 while incumbent Rep. John Faso raised $290,277. Pat released a video to introduce himself and talk about his desire to serve again, while Rep. Faso's constituents were frustrated by his "fluffy phone meetings" and voiced their opinion in the Daily Freeman.

 

Aaron Scheinberg | 2nd District, West Virginia

Aaron raised $80,623 in Q4 while incumbent Rep. Alex Mooney pulled in $266,434. Aaron's message about honoring veterans was published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. 

 

Mikie Sherrill | 11th District, New Jersey

Mikie's supporters contributed $478,229 to her campaign in the final three months last year. The Navy veteran earned the endorsement of four Democratic County Committee chairs, as well as a nod from End Citizens United, an organization working to get money out of politics. The biggest sign of her strength as a candidate, though, came from incumbent Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen himself: the 12-term Congressman currently serving as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee recently announced he would not seek reelection.

 

Elissa Slotkin | 8th District, Michigan

Elissa's supporters contributed an impressive $436,659 to her campaign in Q4, surpassing incumbent Rep. Mike Bishop's total of $306,195. The former CIA officer was endorsed by EMILY's List while a PAC controlled by Rep. Bishop was hit with an FEC complaint.