John Oceguera’s bid for Congress got a boost on Wednesday when the national Democratic Party named him to a list of priority candidates.
The "Red to Blue" program steers additional fundraising and expertise to candidates the party believes have a chance to knock off a Republican incumbent or capture an open seat in a Republican district.
Nevada Assembly Speaker Oceguera is challenging Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., in the 3rd Congressional District composed mainly of southern Clark County including Henderson, Boulder City, Searchlight and Laughlin.
Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that recruits and helps fund House races, designated 36 races for "Red to Blue" assistance, and said there likely will be more.
Republicans outnumber Democrats 242-192 in the U.S. House, with one vacancy in a Democratic district in Oregon. Democrats contend their goal to flip 25 seats in order to regain House control is doable.
"I’m not saying we have 25 seats in the bank. I am saying we are nipping at their heels and we have the potential to overtake them over the next nine months," Israel said of the GOP majority.
Talking with reporters, Israel also betrayed confidence that Democrats will capture Congressional District 4 in Nevada, a new seat where state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford is the party’s candidate.
Republican state Sen. Barbara Cegavske and GOP businessman Danny Tarkanian have declared they are running in CD4, which includes the northern parts of Clark County, most of North Las Vegas and White Pine, Mineral, Esmeralda, Nye, Lincoln counties and part of Lyon County.
But Israel said Democrats are so sure of victory that Horsford has volunteered to raise money not just for himself but for other Democrats.
Israel coupled Horsford with Joaquin Castro of San Antonio and Alan Grayson of Orlando, Fla., as virtual slam dunks.
"We are so confident they are going to win, that they are coming to Congress, we have a program where they are helping their colleagues," Israel said. "They are going to be new members of Congress who have already helped their colleagues attain a majority."