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Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands the speaker's gavel to incoming House Speaker John Boehner after Boehner was elected Speaker on the opening day of the 112th United States Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 5, 2011. Republicans are t
It really belongs in her hands.

Speaker Pelosi project bug
Nancy Pelosi's road back to the speaker's chair goes through 25 congressional districts. The House has 435 members, and right now Republicans hold 242 seats and the Democrats have 193, with the magic number for a majority being 215. Daily Kos has endorsed 15 House candidates who we want to constitute the majority of those 25 new seats, because getting our people, all of whom vow to never join the Blue Dogs and to support the most critical progressive goals, means not just a Democratic majority, but a better House.

We add two more to that list today. I'll echo what Markos said when introducing the last group brought on board: With 17 House candidates and seven Senate candidates, it's a big list. Adopt the candidates who speak to you, those races you think are most compelling. Maybe it's your district or state. Maybe the Republican opponent is incredibly odious. Contribute if you can, volunteer if you can, and help us get the gavel back to Speaker Pelosi.

Here are two more seats that will help accomplish that goal. It's now not all offense on Orange to Blue, we have to play some defense, too, to keep the good people we've got. So in addition to a challenger who's also a former congressman, today's endorsements include a newly redistricted Democratic incumbent.

Betty Sutton head shot
Betty Sutton OH-16
O2B Questionnaire
BettySuttonforCongress.com

Ohio Republicans thought they were playing a fast one by redistricting three-term Rep. Betty Sutton from OH-13, Sherrod Brown's former seat, into a Republican leaning OH-16. That pits her against another incumbent, tea party freshman Rep. Jim Renacci, who also just happens to be a millionaire. Check out this contrast in their bios.

Sutton comes from a quintessential Democratic mold. Raised in the backdrop of working class suburban Akron, she is the daughter of a union boilermaker and a library clerk. She worked her way through public university and law school, and has been a practicing labor attorney. Her allegiance lies squarely with wage earners over what she tags as special interests and millionaires—as she told a group of police and firefighters in August.

“Right now in Washington we have a controlling force that doesn’t fight for you the way you deserve,”says Sutton.”We have a Congress that would rather take the resources you need to buy new equipment and training, and sometimes save your jobs, and give to that multimillionaire or CEO, to that person that won’t play by the rules."

Renacci, by contrast, owns a chain of nursing homes, In addition, as well as "auto dealerships, sports teams and other businesses. He’s a millionaire many times over—the 11th richest person in Congress—and his pro-business, anti-regulation stance is reflected in his top campaign donor list of PACs and corporations."

There hasn't been any publicly released polling on the race in a little over a month, but internal polling showed her with a slight lead, as did polls done by outside groups for her. Here's what our own Steve Singiser had to say about this one: "Meanwhile, the GOP has offered not a single counterpunch. Again, barring some kind of absurdly clever political jiujitsu, the only rational explanation for the silence on their end is because their numbers mirror those of Sutton's advocates, or they are worse than those of Sutton's advocates."

Here's a chance not just to keep a good Democrat in the House, but to knock off a GOP incumbent. Which wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

Rick Nolan headshot
Rick Nolan MN-08
O2B Questionnaire
NolanforCongress.org

Former Rep. Rick Nolan represented MN-08 from 1975 to 1981, when he decided to leave Congress. He re-entered politics to take on the predictably odious freshman Republican, Chip Cravaack. Hypocrite? Check. He voted for Paul Ryan's budget, including slashing veterans' benefits, benefits he himself has received. War on Women? Check. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Actually double-check. He also called the Obama administration's new birth control rule "an act of federal aggression." Medicare? Of course, he voted with almost every other Republican to end it.

Goal Thermometer
This is a very competitive seat for Democrats. The last polling, at the end of August, had Nolan with a slim lead, 47-44. Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar held the seat for 36 years before the teabagger onslaught ousted him with Cravaack in 2010. And President Obama carried the district with 53 percent in 2008. Which is undoubtedly why the National Republican Congressional Committee is spending more than $200,000 in ads a week against Nolan.

These two seats are as critical as the other 15 we've got on our list. All of them would help win the House back for Democrats, and all of them would make the progressive wing of the caucus stronger.

Please donate $3 to these candidates.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM PDT.

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