Barely three weeks after winning yet another election by a double digit margin, Pinellas Congressman Bill Young finds himself in the crosshairs of national Democrats eager to take back the US House in 2014.
Party leaders say they are focusing on around 50 Republican seats in 2014 — particularly those in areas where Obama performed strongly in his two elections. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel identified the four targets he considers most vulnerable, including Young and Illinois Rep.-elect Rodney Davis, Ohio Rep.-elect David Joyce, and California Rep. Gary Miller.
Democrats held their first recruiting meeting at national party headquarters on Wednesday.
As Democrats try to map a path back to the majority, they’re reaching out far and wide to prospective candidates with the aim of building a formidable farm team of contenders, reports POLITICO. Who Democrats might recruit to run against Young remains to be seen, although there is a certain former Governor in Young’s district — Charlie Crist — who might decide to run for Congress instead of return to Tallahassee. County Commissioner Ken Welch also has to be at the top of the list of prospective candidates.
Regardless of who the Democrats recruit, Young is still going strong, at least electorally speaking. Earlier this month, the 81-year-old Republican beat Democratic challenger Jessica Ehrlich 57 percent to 42 percent.
“The fact that people continued to trust me means a lot to me,” said Young, who has been repeatedly re-elected to Congress since he first won the seat in 1970.
One factor on Young’s side will be history. The party controlling the White House during a president’s sixth year in office has lost seats in every midterm election but one since 1918. The average loss in those elections was 30 seats.