WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the New Democrat Coalition Action Fund announced seven additions to their Candidate Watch List, designating competitive and results-driven challengers and open seat competitors in must-win districts heading into the midterms.

These Candidate Watch List additions are: Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Tony Vargas (NE-02), Randolph Bracy (FL-10), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Ben Samuels (MO-02), Eddie Rodriguez (TX-35), Brad Pfaff (WI-03).

This latest slate of candidate support also includes a full endorsement of former NewDem member Max Rose (NY-11).

“These NewDem-backed candidates have the experience to lead, win, and most importantly deliver for their constituents once in office,” said NewDem Action Fund Chair Rep. Brad Schneider. “In order to maintain our Democratic majority in the House and deliver on our priorities, including a full economic recovery in the midst of the pandemic, NewDems are supporting candidates who build coalitions, focus on local priorities, and effectively communicate what is at stake for their communities and our democracy this November.”

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the NewDem Action Fund. For 25 years, the New Dem’s have been on the forefront of finding practical and effective means to strengthen our country’s working and middle class while simultaneously increasing economic opportunities for all Americans,” said Max Rose (NY-11). “The NewDem Action fund knows that if we are going to tame inflation, defeat the pandemic, and get our lives back then we need members of Congress who are willing to do the right thing, no matter the cost – and that’s what I have done my entire life. I look forward to working with the New Dems as we fight for an America that puts the government on the side of working people. I am so proud to have their endorsement in my race for congress.”

“I am honored to be added to the NewDem Action Fund Watch List. Throughout my twenty year long career in the Texas Legislature, I spearheaded policies from expanding the free breakfast program in Texas schools to expanding affordable housing in Austin,” said Eddie Rodriguez (TX-35). “In Congress, I look forward to working to find long-term solutions to issues like the rising costs of gas and groceries, the housing shortage, and the need for well-paying jobs.”

“In my time in the legislature and as Oregon’s Labor Commissioner, I’ve always focused on getting results for working people, not on who gets the credit. I’m running for Congress because we need to break through the gridlock in Washington D.C. and get things done for the American people,” said Val Hoyle (OR-04). “Our Democracy is at a critical juncture, and I’m not going to stand on the sidelines. We’re going to keep this seat Democratic, but it won’t be easy. I’m honored to be on the Watch List and to have the support of so many Oregonians as we build this campaign toward a victory in November.”

“Growing up on my family’s dairy farm in western Wisconsin taught me hard work and respect for my community. These are the values that have informed my work as a state senator and the values that I’ll bring with me to Congress,” said Brad Pfaff (WI-03). “I’m committed to fighting for expanded economic opportunity, ending partisan gridlock, and getting things done – priorities that New Democrat Coalition members share as well. That’s why I’m so proud to be named to their Candidate Watch List. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work alongside fellow NewDems to find pragmatic solutions to our biggest challenges.”

“As a state legislator, I’ve worked to pass policies that foster innovation and growth for our economy, and provide solutions that will help our middle class thrive,” said Randolphy Bracy (FL-10). “As a business owner, I know first hand how good economic policies can create a good business environment. That’s why I believe my values and policy positions are aligned with those of the New Dems Action fund. I’m excited to be on their candidate watch list in my candidacy for Congress!”

“I look forward to working with New Democrats to flip this seat so Nebraskans can have the principled, compassionate, forward thinking representation that they deserve in Washington,” said Tony Vargas (NE-02).

“I’d like to thank NewDem Action Fund for believing in our campaign and offering their support to help us flip Missouri’s 2nd district,” said Ben Samuels (MO-02). “Missourians need a new representative in Congress who will fight to bring people and jobs back to the St. Louis region and protect our democratic system.”

“I am running for Congress to be a champion and a fighter for working families in Central and Southern Illinois. I am thrilled to be placed on the NewDem Action Fund Watchlist because the NewDems share my results-driven approach to governing and my commitment to delivering for working families,” said Nikki Budzinski (IL-13). “I am eager to work with their caucus to deliver for working families in Central and Southern Illinois.”

NewDem Action Fund’s “Candidate Watch List” represents early-stage support for candidates running for Congress. Earlier this year, NewDem Action Fund added OH-11 candidate Shontel Brown to the Watch List before endorsing her ahead of her primary election victory. NewDem Action Fund’s Candidate Watch List also includes: Quaye Quartey (CA-27), Jay Chen (CA-45), Christina Bohannan (IA-01), Liz Mathis (IA-02), and John Lira (TX-23).

The New Democrat Coalition is the largest ideological caucus amongst House Democrats, counting more than forty percent of the caucus as members. The 97 NewDems represent a central core of the Democratic Party and advocate within Congress, and the party as a whole, for innovative approaches and constructive solutions to move America forward. Formed by Members of the New Democrat Coalition, the NewDem Action Fund helps re-elect House NewDems and elect new, like-minded leaders who can help develop a positive policy agenda and message.

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