These Democrats Are All Lone-Challengers Running Against GOP Incumbents

Take A Seat America highlights Democratic Congressional candidates who have no primary opponents, and are therefore presumptive nominees.

9 mins read

This is the first in a series of posts in which we’ll introduce you to Democratic candidates who are running as the ONLY Democrat in a race for Federal office against a GOP opponent.

These five Democratic nominees have emerged in early primary states and they need your support. Without it, they may lack the resources they need to mount a strong challenge. Be sure to go to the candidates’ websites, follow them on social media, consider donating to their campaigns, and most of all, spread the word!


Arkansas CD-02

This seat is currently held by Republican Rep. French Hill

Democratic Nominee:  Joyce Elliott

Arkansas State Senator Joyce Elliott was born and raised in Arkansas, and her entire career has been one of public service. A former teacher with a passion for education, Elliott is Chair of the Arkansas Black Legislative Caucus and Vice-Chair of the Senate Education Committee. She also sits on the Insurance and Commerce Committee, the Joint Committee on Retirement and Social Security Systems, the Legislative Council, the Joint Auditing Committee, and the Joint Budget Committee. She has been recognized for her legislative achievements as both a member of the Arkansas Assembly and State Senate.

Her opponent, Republican Rep. French Hill, has a troubling legislative record. He voted against the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, the Consumers First Act, the Equality Act, the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and more.

Learn more about Elliott and her campaign here.

Arkansas CD-03

This seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Steve Womack

Democratic Nominee:  Celeste Williams

Celeste Williams has been a nurse practitioner for more than 20 years. Married with four children, she understands the day-to-day struggles and needs of Arkansas families. As a House Representative, she will fight for access to affordable and quality healthcare, to reduce the crippling costs of education, and to expand economic security for all Americans.

In contrast, Rep. Steve Womack voted against the Lowering Drug Costs Now Act and the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act; and voted multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. At a town hall last year, while discussing gun violence in America, Womack suggested that single parent households are to blame for our gun violence crisis.

Learn more about Williams and her campaign here.

Arkansas CD-04

This seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman

Democratic Nominee: William Hanson

William “Bobby” Hanson is a retired attorney, educator, and U.S. army veteran. Married for more than 30 years, he and his wife Zaretta have two sons. He has deep roots in Arkansas’ 4th Congressional district, where his family history dates back 150 years. His great passion is increasing civic and voter engagement in his home state of Arkansas, which was ranked 49th in voter turnout in 2018; and he seeks to be Arkansas’ champion of voting rights, voter engagement and voter turnout..

 Republican Rep. Westerman’s record on voter engagement? He voted against the For the People Act, which would expand voter access, create provisions to enhance election integrity and security, and address campaign finance reform. He also voted against the Expand Voting Rights Act and the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act.

Learn more about Hanson and his campaign here.


California CD-04

This seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Tom McClintock

Democratic Nominee:  Brynne Kennedy

Brynne Kennedy, a businesswoman and entrepreneur, founded Topia, a global software company, ten years ago. Experiencing the battles both of her parents fought with cancer, she knows first-hand the challenges families across America face daily when confronted with a health crisis. She understands the critical importance of access to good paying jobs and to quality and affordable healthcare; and she’s a forceful advocate for equal pay for women.

Republican Rep. Tom McClintock voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would ensure pay equality for women for equal work. He also voted against the Violence Against Women Reauthorization, and for Trump’s 2018 tax bill, which gave a huge tax break to wealthy individuals and corporations by increasing the tax burden on California taxpayers.

Learn more about Kennedy and her campaign here.

California CD-23

This seat is currently held by Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

Democratic Nominee:  Kim Mangone

Kim Mangone is a proud veteran who served in the United States Air Force as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer. A single mom, she raised her daughter Kathryn while working full-time and continuing her education. She holds a degree in Professional Aeronautics. She seeks to bring her real-life experience of navigating and overcoming the obstacles most American families face every day to Congress, where she will be a strong advocate for the constituents of California’s 23rd district.

As for Republican House Minority Leader McCarthy…where do we begin? Never a day goes by that he’s not spreading lies about his Democratic colleagues and running interference for the corrupt Trump Administration, while simultaneously voting against the needs of his constituents. And, while he continues to try to explain away his connection with Rudy Giuliani’s indicted associates Lev & Igor, California voters in CD-04 have a great candidate to rally around.

Learn more about Mangone and her campaign here.

About Take A Seat America

As Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

That’s why Democrats must challenge every seat, even in so-called “red” or data-identified “un-winnable” districts. Let’s face it, any district is “un-winnable” if we concede the race before it begins. And if a Democrat doesn’t appear on the ballot, we lose far more than an election. We lose our voice in the community. If we’re not there to define ourselves and to advocate for our beliefs, others will be only too happy to do it for us, and not in a good way. And I’ve had just about enough of Republican lies. Haven’t you?

Take A Seat America fills that gap in our electoral strategy. As a DemCast partner organization, we share DemCast’s belief that challenging every seat, in every state, is essential. We promote Federal candidates looking to flip a GOP-held seat or to save a Democratic-held seat where there is no Democratic incumbent up for re-election. We hold a key position on the offensive line.

We do not endorse in primaries, but once primary filing deadlines pass and we identify seats where only one Democratic candidate has emerged, we’re there to help.

We’ll continue to track races across the country over the coming months, update our website with candidate information as Democratic nominees emerge, and share that information here on DemCast.

Please visit and click on The Map to explore our 50-state political action resource, filled with key dates, voter registration information, and links to ALL Democratic nominees running for GOP-held or open seats for Federal races across the country.

Then follow us on our social media platforms and, if you are inspired, make a small donation to help our effort.

Thanks for reading!

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

After witnessing the devastating effects of the November 2016 election and the continuing threats to our democracy by the GOP, Alica left her position in corporate learning and communications expressly to found Take A Seat America. She brings to her role experience in theatrical and video production, project management, campaign logistics and coordination, as well as a strong sense of right and wrong, and American patriotism, instilled in her by two veterans of WWII – her parents.

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