DCCC names nine new Jumpstart candidates

All nine of the new candidates are running in Republican-favored districts, an indication of the committee's plans to aggressively pursue offensive opportunities this cycle.

Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to take back the House, a tall order in an off-year, when the party holding the White House typically loses seats.

But the nine new recruits bring the overall number of Jumpstart candidates to 16, a solid recruiting class at this point in the cycle. In a statement, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said recruitment is proceeding apace.

“Our recruiting is already ahead of schedule, and these Jumpstart candidates are standouts – women and men who have spent their careers solving problems and putting the middle class ahead of partisan ideology,” he said.

The new Jumpstart candidates are:

—Former state Sen. Staci Appel, challenging Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa)

—Businesswoman Erin Bilbray-Kohn, challenging Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.)

—Former state Rep. Pam Byrnes, challenging Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.)

—Retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon, challenging Rep. San Benishek (R-Mich.)

—Former state Rep. Jennifer Garrison, challenging Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio)

—Attorney Roxanne Lara, challenging Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.)

—John Lewis, who worked as Sen. Max BaucusMax BaucusChina moves to lift ban on US beef Overnight Healthcare: Zika fight stalls government funding talks | Census finds big drop in uninsured | Mental health bill faces wait Glover Park Group now lobbying for Lyft MORE' (D-Mont.) state director, running for Montana's at-large district, which is currently held by Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who may run for Senate

—Retired Navy commander Suzanne Patrick, challenging Rep. Scott RigellScott RigellGOP rep: Trump doesn't have one trait I'd want my son to emulate GOP lawmakers urge RNC to cut ties with Trump House Republican 'leaning' toward vote for Gary Johnson MORE (R-Va.)

—Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson, challenging Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.).