Republicans target rural House Democrats in 2020 elections |

Republicans target rural House Democrats in 2020 elections

The National Republican Congressional Committee on Friday announced it will target 55 House seats held by Democrats that the group considers vulnerable and prime pickup opportunities, including the seat of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and other committee Democrats.

“Freedom or socialism — that’s the choice in 2020,” said Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., the NRCC chairman.

“Whether they are calling for open borders, refusing to denounce rampant anti-Semitism, advocating for a 90 percent tax rate or moving to legalize the murder of newborn babies, the new socialist Democrats are pushing an extreme agenda that is sorely out-of-touch.”

“We are hard at work recruiting strong, accomplished Republican candidates who will deliver our message of individual freedom and hold these targeted members accountable for the radical policies being pushed by the socialist Democrats in their party,” he said.

The NRCC noted that the targeted seats include 20 seats won by Republicans in 2016 that were also carried by Hillary Clinton and 31 districts won by President Donald Trump in 2016. Also, three additional seats Republicans held in recent cycles (Florida’s 7th and 13th districts and Nevada’s 4th), and one additional seat trending toward Trump, Oregon’s 4th District.

The NRCC put Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a rural leader in Congress, at the top of the list, and in addition to Peterson, included several members of the House Agriculture Committee:

▪ Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz.

▪ Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz.

▪ Rep. Josh Harder, D-Calif.

▪ Rep. T.J. Cox, D-Calif.

▪ Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa

▪ Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J.

▪ Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y.

▪ Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y.

▪ Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y.

▪ Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va.

Other Democratic targets who have been active on agriculture and rural issues include Dave Loebsack of Iowa, Peter De Fazio of Oregon and Ron Kind of Wisconsin.