House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says that not only does she want Democrats to win the 25 seats they need to gain back control of the house, she is going after 35 seats, for good measure. With redistricting and heavy recruitment by Democrats in swing districts, there are a number of competitive contests this year.
Check out our list of House races to watch.
ARIZONA 8TH DISTRICT (VACANT SEAT)
Arizona’s Tucson-area 8th district was vacated by former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords (pictured), who continues her recovery after being shot in the head while meeting with constituents at a 2011 public event. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has set the special primary and general election dates for April and June respectively. Several candidates are expected to step forward on both the Democratic and Republican sides in the special and regular elections for the seat, but the only person to officially announce is state Senator Frank Antenori.
ILLINOIS 12TH DISTRICT (OPEN SEAT)
With Democratic Representative Jerry Costello (pictured) announcing his retirement in late 2011, Democrats and Republicans are expected to have a close contest in this southern Illinois district. Democrats Brad Harriman, a St. Clair County regional school superintendent, and Chris Miller, an Iraq war vet have are going after the seat. Republicans Rodger Cook, mayor of Belleville, and businessman Jason Plummer are competing as well.
ARIZONA 1ST DISTRICT
Republican Representative Paul Gosar (pictured) is switching congressional districts this election cycle, opening Arizona’s 1st District seat in northeastern Arizona. Republican candidates: Former state Senator Jonathan Paton and businessman Doug McKee. Democratic candidates: Former Representative Ann Kirkpatrick and attorney Wenona Benally Baldenegro.
IOWA 3RD DISTRICT
It is rare that two incumbents run against each other, but redistricting has pitted Democratic Representative Leonard Boswell (pictured left) against Republican Representative Tom Latham (pictured right) in Iowa’s newly drawn 3rd district.
NORTH CAROLINA 11TH DISTRICT
It’s unclear whether Democratic incumbent Heath Shuler (pictured) will compete for this seat now that redistricting has made it primarily a Republican district. There are indications that he might run for governor instead. GOP candidates for the seat: district attorney Jeff Hunt, ophthalmologist Dan Eichenbaum and businessman Mark Meadows.
OTHER RACES TO WATCH
CALIFORNIA 21ST DISTRICT
Who will run against Republican State Assemblyman David Valadao in this newly drawn district? Democratic State Senator Michael Rubio has already bowed out of the contest.
CALIFORNIA 26TH DISTRICT
It’s a crowded field on both sides for the reconfigured 26th District: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett (D), Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock (D), former professional tennis player and businessman David Thayne (D), Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Jess Herrera (D), State Senator Tony Strickland (R), agriculture expert Akiva Werbalowsky of Ojai (R), and Supervisor Linda Parks of Thousand Oaks (R).
CALIFORNIA 47TH DISTRICT
This newly drawn Long Beach district has attracted the following candidates: Democratic State Senator Alan Lowenthal, Republican Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong, Republican Los Alamitos City Councilman Troy Edgar and Former Representative Steve Kuykendall.
FLORIDA 22ND DISTRICT
Redistricting has made the district of Republican Representative and Tea Party favorite Allen West competitive. Democrats going after the seat include West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and Fort Lauderdale CPA Patrick Murphy.
NEW YORK 25TH DISTRICT
Former Democratic Representative Dan Maffei is looking to reclaim the seat that he lost to Republican Representative Ann Marie Buerkle in 2010. And with the 25th district being redrawn and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee backing Maffei this time around, this is shaping up to be another tight race for the pair.
UTAH 2ND AND 4TH DISTRICTS
Representative Jim Matheson, a Blue Dog Democrat who represents CD-2, has announced that he will run in newly drawn CD-4.