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 lawmaker appears in Gary Johnson ad Some in GOP say Trump has gone too far GOP rep: Trump doesn't have one trait I'd want my son to emulate MORE (R-Va.)

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