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death and life of education

Are Primaries Worth The Trouble? Highest Ranking Member Of Congress Was First Elected By Beating An Incumbent In A Primary

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With the plethora of hopelessly gerrymandered districts-- a small and shrinking number of House seats are competitive-- almost the only way to hold a congressman accountable for corruption, malfeasance or incompetence is at primary time. Last cycle, two of Blue America's most memorable achievements were helping Beto O'Rourke overcome corrupt conservative incumbent Silvestre Reyes in El Paso and helping Matt Cartwright take down a far worse Blue Dog, Tim Holden, who Steny Hoyer was stumping for... aggressively. We don't know who our target will be in 2014, but there's a good chance he'll show up on this page first. Current frontrunners include Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN), John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA), Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC) and Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT), but you never know... and a determined and viable opponent is always the most important factor.

And beating an incumbent in a primary is not easy. In fact, there are only 27 current members of Congress who were first elected by ousting an incumbent in a primary:
• Charlie Rangel (D-NY) beat the legendary Adam Clayton Powell in 1970
• Max Baucus (D-MT) beat Senator Paul Hatfield in 1978
• Ron Wyden (D-OR) beat Rep. Robert Duncan in 1980
• Peter Visclosky (D-IN) beat Katie Hall in 1984
• Fred Upton (R-MI) beat Taliban agent Mark Siljander in 1986
• Tom Campbell (R-CA) beat Ernest Konnyu in 1988
• John Boehner (R-OH) beat right-wing sex predator Donald Buz Lukens in 1990
• Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) beat Stephen Solarz in 1992
• Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA) beat Charles hatcher in 1992
• Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) beat Craig Washington in 1994
• Chaka Fattah (D-PA) beat Lucien Blackwell in 1994
• Gary Miller (R-CA) beat Jay Kim in 1998
• John Dingell (D-MI) beat Lynn Rivers in 2002
• Tim Ryan (D-OH) geat Tom Sawyer in 2002
• Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX) beat Ciro Rodriguez in 2004
• Al Green (D-TX) beat Chris Bell in 2004
• Tim Walberg (R-MI) beat Joe Schwarz in 2006
• Hank Johnson (D-GA) beat Cynthia McKinney in 2006
• Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) beat Chris Cannon in 2008
• Donna Edwards (D-MD) beat Al Wynn in 2008
• Andy Harris (R-MD) beat Wayne Gilchrest in 2008; elected in 2010
• Mike Lee (R-UT) beat Bob Bennett in 2010
• Mo Brooks (R-AL) beat Parker Griffith in 2010
• Trey Gowdy (R-SC) beat Bob Inglis in 2010
• Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA) beat Joe Baca (Blue Dog-CA) in 2012
• Ted Yoho (R-FL) beat Cliff Stearns in 2012
• Ben Wenstrup (R-OH) beat Mean Jean Schmidt in 2012
• Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) beat John Sullivan in 2012
• Eric Swalwell (D-CA) beat Pete Stark in 2012 who had originally won the seat by ousting George P. Miller (not the current Rep. George Miller) in 1972
• Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is in the Senate today because teabagger Richard Mourdock beat GOP incumbent Richard Lugar in 2012
The primary Blue America is involved with right now, IL-02, doesn't have an incumbent. Jesse Jackson Jr resigned and the progressive who can beat self-described "conservative Democrat" Debbie Halvorson is Toi Hutchinson. If you'd like to help us keep this seat in progressive hands and not let it slip away top a corporate shill... we have a special election page set up for that. And the election is in one month.

Matt Cartwright & Beto O'Rourke beat conservative incumbents in hot primaries last year


Original author: DownWithTyranny


Latest Comments

Ben Stein is such a douchebag. He has a mental disease and definitely has a defect.

Well said. I couldn't have said it better myself. Keep the faith!

O’Reilly is just one of the talking heads guarding the inhabitants of Bullsh*t Mountain from rejoini...