After travelling throughout the country, locating potentially competitive House races, I have narrowed the list down to the thirty most competitive races. This is by no means a concrete, absolute list-many twists and turns can happen all the way until November 2nd (for example, Felix Grucci was a safe incumbent in February of 2002 in NY-1 (Long Island), before he lost to Tim Bishop). That said, here are the top thirty House races in 2004:
#s 1-5: Texas-1, 2, 17, 19, and 32
. These races are tough for the Democrats to defend, but all will certainly be competitive. These are in a special category by themselves, so as not to mess up the other 30 races to watch for.
Now, the other thirty top races:
- AZ-1 (R): Congressman Rick Renzi (R) vs. Democrat Paul Babbitt. Babbitt's website is http://www.babbittaz.com, and this district is located in the Flagstaff area.
- GA-12 (R): Congressman Max Burns (R) vs. Democratic Primary Winner. Democrats are County Commissioner John Barrow (http://www.barrowforcongress.com), ex-State Senator Doug Haines (http://www.hainesforcongress.com), Renewable Energy Lobbyist Caine Cortellino (http://www.caineforcongress.com) and Attorney Tony Center. This district stretches from Augusta to Athens to Savannah, and is strongly Democratic.
- KY-4 (D): Open Seat. Democrat Nick Clooney vs. GOP Primary. Clooney does not have a website. This district is in Northeastern Kentucky, along the Ohio River. GOP candidates are Geoff Davis, Kevin Murphy and John King.
- WA-8 (R): Open Seat. GOP Primary vs. Democratic Primary. Likely Democratic Nominee is Alex Alben (http://www.alben2004.com), a former Internet executive. Likely GOP nominee is King County Sheriff Dave Reichert.
- PA-13 (D): Open Seat. Democratic Primary vs. GOP Primary. Democrats running are State Senator Allyson Schwartz (http://www.allysonschwartz.com) and Joe Torsella (http://www.joetorsella.com). Republicans running are Melissa Brown (2002 nominee), State Rep. Ellen Bard, Businessman Al Taubenberger and Financial Consultant Joe McColgan. This district is in Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.
- IN-8 (R): Republican John Hostettler vs. Democrat Jon Jennings. This district is in Southern Indiana, and includes Evansville and Terre Haute. Jennings' website is http://www.jenningsforcongress.com .
- CO-3 (R): Open Seat-Republican Primary vs. Democratic Primary: Leading Democrat is State Rep. John Salazar, no leading Republican. This district is in Western Colorado, and includes Grand Junction, Pueblo and Aspen.
- KS-3 (D): Democrat Dennis Moore vs. GOP primary. Moore is facing another tough battle in a district that includes Overland Park and the University of Kansas. Congressman Moore's website is http://www.mooreforcongress.com .
- LA-3 (R): Open Seat-Open Primary: Still unclear who will be the candidates, but this seat will likely have a runoff.
- UT-2 (D): Democrat Jim Matheson vs. GOP Primary. This district consists of part of Salt Lake County, plus a vast swathe of counties in Central Utah. GOP candidates are John Swallow, Tim Bridgewater and David Wilde. Matheson does not have a website yet.
- NC-11 (R): Republican Charles Taylor vs. Buncombe County Commissioner Patsy Keever. This district includes Ashevile in Western North Carolina. Keever's website is located at http://www.keeverforcongress.com .
- LA-7 (D): Open Seat, Open Primary. Very unclear right now as to who will emerge into the runoff, but it will probably be a Democrat and a Republican. This seat is a tossup in national races. It includes Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and Crowley.
- WA-5 (R): Open Seat, GOP Primary vs. Democrat Don Barbieri. This Eastern Washington district includes Spokane. Barbieri's website is http://www.barbieriforcongress.com . GOP candidates include Cathy McMorris and Larry Sheahan.
- Il-8 (R): Republican Phil Crane vs. Democrat Melissa Bean, a business consultant. This district includes McHenry, Mundelein and Schaumburg. Bean's website is located at http://www.melissabean.com.
- MS-2 (D): Democrat Bennie Thompson vs. GOP Primary. This district includes Vicksburg for the Civil War buffs out there, and is in Western Mississippi.
- KY-3 (R): Republican Ann Northup vs. Democrat Tony Miller. A new Bluegrass Poll has Northup up 49-40. Miller is the Jefferson County Circuit Judge. The district consists of Louisville and its suburbs.
- NJ-7 (R): Republican Mike Ferguson vs. Democrat Steve Brozak. This district is in Hunterdon, Somerset, Union and Middlesex Counties, and includes the hometown of Senator Jon Corzine, Summit. I also reside in this district.
- OR-5 (D): Democrat Darlene Hooley vs. GOP Primary. This district includes the capital, Salem. Leading Republican is Jim Zupancic. Hooley faces a primary challenge in Andrew Kaza. Her website is http://www.hooley.org .
- CT-2 (R): Republican Rob Simmons vs. Democratic Primary Winner. This district includes Norwich, NewLondon and other cities in Western Connecticut. Democrats are Financial Advisor Jim Sullivan (http://www.sullivanforcongress.com) and ex-State Rep. Shaun McNally (http://www.shaunmcnally.com).
- LA-5 (D): Democrat Rodney Alexander vs. GOP candidate. This district stretches from the Arkansas Border to Iberville Parish in South Central Louisiana. Alexander may face ex-Congressman John Cooksey.
- NM-2 (R): Republican Steve Pearce vs. Democratic Primary. This district is in southern New Mexico. The likely Democratic nominee is Gary King (http://www.garyking.org), and Jeff Steinborn is also running (http://www.jeff4congress.org).
- NE-2 (R): Republican Lee Terry vs. State Senator Nancy Thompson. This district includes Pampillion and Omaha. Thompson's website is http://www.nancythompson4congress.com .
- PA-15 (R): Open Seat, GOP Primary vs. Democratic Primary. This district is in the Leheigh Valley. The leading Democrat is Joe Driscoll, a businessman and friend of the Kennedys. Also running for the Democrats are frequent candidate/attorney Rick Orloski and College Professor William Roth. GOP candidates are State Senator Charlie Dent, County Commissioner Joe Pascuzzo and Attorney Brian O'Neill. Expect a Dent/Driscoll slugfest in the general election.
- OH-14 (R): Republican Steve LaTourette vs. Democratic Primary. This district is in the Northeastern corner of the state (east of Cleveland). The leading Democrat is State Rep. Ed Jerse (http://www.edjerseforcongress.com).
- GA-11 (R): Republican Phil Gingrey vs. Democrat Rick Crawford. This district looks ugly on a map, as it was drawn to elect a Democrat. They failed. Crawford's website is located at http://www.rickcrawford.org .
- WA-2 (D): Democrat Rick Larsen vs. Republican Suzanne Sinclair. This district includes Island and Skagit Counties. Larsen's website is http://www.ricklarsen.org.
- IN-9 (D): Democrat Baron Hill vs. Republican Mike Sodrel. This district is along the Ohio River in Southeastern Indiana, and includes Bloomington. Hill currently has no website.
- IN-2 (R): Republican Chris Chocola vs. Democrat Joe Donnelly. This district includes South Bend and Mishakawa. Donnelly, an attorney and businessman, has a nice website at http://www.joedonnellyforcongress.com (other good webnames were snatched up by a former Chocola aide).
- FL-13 (R): Republican Katherine Harris vs. Democratic Primary. This district includes Sarasota. Democrats running are Jan Schneider, Floyd Winters and C.J. Czaia. Their websites are http://www.schneider-for-congress.com/, http://winters2004.com/, and http://www.cjczaiaforcongress.com/.
- NE-1 (R): Open Seat-GOP Primary vs. Democratic Primary. This district includes Lincoln, Wahoo and Lyons-Decatur. Democratic candidates are State Senator Matt Connealy (http://www.connealy04.com), Janet E. Stewart(http://www.janetelizabethstewart.com) and Phil Chase. GOP candidates so far are State Legislative Speaker Curt Bromm, ex-Lincoln Councilman Jeff Fortenberry and Greg Ruehle.
I deliberately left out the November editions of the KY-6 and SD-At Large special elections.