Democrats announce plan to protect vulnerable House members

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is beginning its campaign to defend vulnerable lawmakers in swing districts, releasing a list of 26 Democrats who will get party help with fundraising and campaign infrastructure in 2014.

Nineteen of the lawmakers on the list are freshmen. Rep. Patrick Murphy (Fla.), who beat popular tea party figure Allen West, is on there. So is Rep. Ron Barber (Ariz.), who replaced Gabrielle Giffords in the House, as is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), the first openly bisexual person in Congress.

Also included are three Blue Dog Democrats who have survived in increasingly conservative districts: John Barrow of Georgia, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, and Jim Matheson of Utah.

TIm Bishop and Bill Owens of New York, Lois Capps of California and John Tierney of Massachusetts round out the list. Bishop and Owens have both faced tough challenges in the past two cycles, Capps was redistricted into more Republican territory in 2012, and Tierney weathered a family gambling scandal.

"These battle-tested men and women have proven time and again that they can win because no one better reflects the values of their districts,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel in a statement. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), a former Frontline member, is leading the effort.

Membership will change as the campaign cycle evolves. The full list of initial Frontline members:

Representative Ron Barber (AZ-02)
Representative John Barrow (GA-12)
Representative Ami Bera (CA-07)
Representative Tim Bishop (NY-01)
Representative Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Representative Lois Capps (CA-24)
Representative Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Representative Bill Enyart (IL-12)
Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Representative Pete Gallego (TX-23)
Representative Joe Garcia (FL-26)
Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Representative Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02)
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)
Representative Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Representative Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Representative Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Representative Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Representative Bill Owens (NY-21)
Representative Scott Peters (CA-52)
Representative Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Representative Brad Schneider (IL-10)
Representative Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)
Representative Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Representative John Tierney (MA-06)

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · March 5, 2013