Democratic candidate in 6th Congressional District is selected for national program

By David Skolnick

Former state Rep. Jennifer Garrison, running next year for the 6th Congressional District seat, is among only nine U.S. House candidates selected for a national Democratic program that provides financial, operational and strategic support to its top recruits.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which recruits and raises money for Democrats running for House seats, announced Monday that Garrison, of Marietta, is among nine candidates selected for its Jumpstart program.

Those selected are considered top-tier candidates in Republican-held districts, according to the DCCC. The candidates receive assistance with money, communications, operating their campaigns and get strategic support.

“This is just one more validation that this will be a competitive race because of [Garrison’s] record of getting results for the people of eastern Ohio,” said Mark Riddle, her campaign spokesman.

This is the program’s second round of candidates. In May, the DCCC announced eight candidates. At that time, Garrison was considering a run and was being recruited by the DCCC. She was among only six potential House candidates nationwide invited to a Jumpstart program in Washington with Democrats who already had declared they were running next year for Congress.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the DCCC’s counterpart, selected two-term incumbent Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, who will run next year for re-election in the 6th, and eight other sitting House Republicans to the second round of its “Patriot Program” in July. That program provides money and organizational and strategic assistance to incumbents in competitive races.

Both parties consider the 18-county 6th Congressional District race to be among the most competitive in the country. The district includes Columbiana County, the most populous county in the 6th, and eight southern and central- western townships in Mahoning County.

“The fact that Jennifer Garrison is touting [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement and financial support is a telling sign of who Garrison will side with if sent to Washington,” said Katie Prill, NRCC spokeswoman. “Ohioans have now been unequivocally assured that Garrison is more interested in playing nice with Washington Democrats than fighting for Ohio families.”

Riddle called the NRCC statement “ridiculous. The folks in her former [state House] district and in the [6th] District know she works hard for them. The NRCC continues to play the name game and that rhetoric out of Washington shows what’s wrong with Washington.”

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