EMILY’s list, a powerful DC-based organization focused on electing pro-choice, Democratic women to Congress, plans to name New Hampshire 2nd District Congressman Charlie Bass as one of its top five House targets in the 2012 election cycle. Bass’ 2010 opponent, Democrat Ann McLane Kuster, recently announced that she is running again in 2012 after a very close election last cycle.
A release from the group explains their target selection criteria thusly; “First, despite short tenures, they’ve already amassed appallingly anti-woman, anti-family records. And second, there is major Democratic female talent waiting in the wings.” While it could be argued that the “short tenure” criteria does not apply to Bass, who served six consecutive terms in the House before being ousted by Democrat Paul Hodes in 2006, Kuster has been widely acknowledged as a rising star within Democratic circles.
The other four top targets are Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), and Rep. Allen West (R-FL). Like Bass, West and Gosar already have declared female opponents.
EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock described the purpose of the target list as, “putting these guys on notice. Clean up your act, or it’s going to be a lousy election day for you.” There is no word yet on how much money the group plans to spend to defeat Bass, and what the money will be spent on.
For his part, Bass has already made moves to prepare for a tough reelection challenge, including setting up a fundraising operation earlier than he ever has before. Whatever happens, the 2nd District will likely be a close and closely-watched race.