The concept of the "Fighting Dem" has really taken off as of late. The Atlantic Monthly is the latest to note this phenomenon:
The midterm elections this fall will be the first in which a sizable number of veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq run for Congress. At least fourteen have declared so far. But in an era when military and national-security issues have long been the province of the Republican Party--indeed, are thought to have strengthened the GOP's grip on the White House and Congress in the past two elections--the bigger surprise is under whose banner these veterans are choosing to run. Like Walz, nearly every one of them is a Democrat [...]
The subsequent group of veterans very much resembles Hackett: they are generally young (most in their thirties and forties), new to electoral politics, and, with varying degrees of intensity, critics of the administration. At a time when the public's opinion of lawmakers in both parties is abysmal, these veterans are running on the attractively civic-minded notion that service in Congress is a patriotic extension of service in the military. They are spread throughout the country but concentrated in military-heavy states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and Texas, where the war and its effects are most keenly felt.
Republicans are worried. As the NRCC's David Forti said, dismissing the pedigree of our Fighting Dems in an election where hardly any veterans are running as Republicans:
"These are Democrats who happen to be military veterans who are running for Congress," he said of Veterans for Security. "It's one résumé item."
Bill Winters is running against one of the House's most high-profile haters -- the xenophobic Tom Tancredo. Tancredo has led the GOP's fight to seal the borders against immigrants for some time, and is rumored to be considering a vanity presidential bid to promote his issue in 2008. Tancredo is virtually a one-note wonder, rarely straying from his seething outrage at the brown menace crossing our southern border and keynoted the kickoff meeting of the Minutemen -- those vigilante weirdos "patrolling" our border. He's also brought us such classics as bombing Mecca if terrorists nuked us.
As for Winters, a Colorado Statesman piece (reprinted at Winter's campapign site) summarizes his bio:
Bill Winter, a 41 year-old local attorney, recently declared his candidacy against incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo. And while the suburban district is still comprised mostly of Republicans and Unaffiliateds - with only 23.2 percent officially registered as Democrats as of last month - Winter is hoping his candidacy will catch fire.
"I want to reach out to everyone - Republicans and Unaffiliateds included, not just Democrats," Winter said this week. "I believe it is time that we all stopped saluting donkeys and elephants, and began to salute the American flag."
Tancredo, who was first elected as congressman in the district back in 1998, received 67 percent of the vote in 2004.
"I know the odds say we can't do it," Winter said about his ambitious plans for next year, "but I don't worry about the odds too much... you've got a mission, you go out and find a way to accomplish it."
If the rhetoric sounds a little military-like with its call for action, it might be because Winter is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Navy.
In fact, Winter is one of 31 veterans nationwide who are running for Congress as Democrats against Republican incumbents [...]
Winter is the former president of Be the Change, USA, a grassroots organization that promotes progressive ideals. The organization evolved from Mike Miles' 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, and continues to support "progressive political issues and work to increase grassroots involvement and influence."
The Colorado 6th:
This is a tough district, no doubt, but the kind of place we must challenge to take the battle to Republicans in every corner of our great nation.
- My take on why the Fighting Dems matter.
- The Mother Jones article on Fighting Dems.
- Bill Winter's official campaign site.
The segment will run at around 9:20 p.m. ET, though your local Air America affiliates may have it at different times.
Previous Featured Fighting Dems:
- Tim Dunn (NC-08)
- Charles Brown (CA-04)
- Eric Massa (NY-29)
- Dave Harris (TX-06)
- Andrew Duck (MD-06)
- Patrick Murphy (PA-08)
- Paul Hackett (OH-Sen)
- Bryan Lentz (PA-07)
- David Ashe (VA-02)