Democrats recruit veterans early for 2018 battle – By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE 04/04/17 05:06 AM EDT


A rough profile of the DCCC’s ideal candidates have started to emerge: veterans, preferably with small business experience too. | AP Photo

‘Washington seems like a dirty place. But so was Afghanistan. And so was Iraq. And we’re going to clean it up.’

Democrats are looking to turn the Donald Trump resistance movement into an army of candidates to try to take back the House in 2018.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leaders have already met with 255 potential candidates across 64 districts, convinced that the shifting political environment has opened new opportunities that they’ll chase in next year’s midterms.

A rough profile of their ideal candidate has started to emerge: veterans, preferably with small business experience too. They’d like as many of them to be women or people who’ve never run for office before — and having young children helps.

With the 2018 Senate map tilted heavily in Republicans’ favor, House races may prove the first real test for how much 2016 was a realignment election, and how much Democrats are able to turn the energy in the streets against President Donald Trump into actually winning races.

“We are going to be on offense, we are going to take this fight to the American people,” said DCCC Chair Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) last week at an event taking a victory lap over the defeat of Obamacare repeal. It was held to tout a poll showing how badly the bill played in 54 swing districts.

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