Jefferson City, MO – After two big freshman classes in 2010 and 2012 it looks like 2014 will have far fewer seats in play. While there are always a few surprise retirements, good candidates recruited and Representatives who decide to run for higher office, early indicators seem to show less than 20 seats will truly be competitive. House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC) director Scott Dieckhaus said, “It will be hard to hold 110 seats but we have some hardworking incumbents and a few opportunities in pickups in 2014. Also, historically in second term presidencies the president’s party usually loses legislative seats.”
While the low number of competitive seats will allow the minority to better compete in the targeted districts, it also ensures they will not be able to win enough seats to capture the majority. When asked what he thought about the democrats chances in 2014 Rep. John Rizzo responded, “We are worried about the off year presidential impact on our races, but we have some good candidates lining up and now that the republicans have veto proof majorities we intend to hold them accountable for their policies.”
After reviewing this list both Dieckhaus and Rizzo talked about their recruiting efforts in the targeted seats. Rizzo said, “We are working hard to do a better job of recruiting in the rural areas of the state. Rural representatives such as Hodges and Schieffer have been great candidates and we need more like them, but until we reform the campaign finance laws in Missouri the republicans will continue to raise thousands of dollars from a handful of donors and outspend us in these competitive seats.” Dieckhaus mentioned, “We have been in early discussions with potential candidates and we are looking at 17 to 22 districts where we need to find good recruits.”
There will be 12 term limited seats in 2014, but the MPB’s research shows only five of those are in competitive districts. They report that those five open seats will be the most targeted races in 2014.
Missouri Political Bug president Rod Jetton added, “Many of the safe open seats will most likely have competitive primaries on both sides of the aisle but nothing like what we saw after redistricting in 2012. After doing the research and taking with candidates, incumbents and experts in both parties it’s clear that 2014 is looking to be a relative quite election year in the House.”
The Missouri Political Bug campaign reports go into much greater detail on the races and explore all the possible candidates in the baseline reports. For information on how to subscribe to the Missouri Political Bug email email@example.com