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August 08, 2008

Leaders Hit The Road

While some Republicans remain in Washington protesting gas prices, other members from both parties' leadership teams are hitting the road over the August recess in support of their candidates. NRCC Chairman Tom Cole and House Minority Leader John Boehner have the most ambitious travel plans during the break, but Democrats are out in force as well.

Boehner's itinerary has him making stops in eighteen districts in six states over the next few weeks, including Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Boehner will help incumbents Chris Shays in Connecticut, Randy Kuhl in New York, Steve LaTourette in Ohio, Phil English and Charlie Dent in Pennsylvania and Tim Walberg, Mike Rogers, Thad McCotter and Joe Knollenberg from Michigan along with nine challengers.

Cole spent this week in the Northeast as well, making stops for New Yorker Kuhl before swinging out to the suburban Twenty-Sixth District for businessman Chris Lee and south into New Jersey to help State Senator Leonard Lance, both running for Republican-held open seats. Cole also dropped by Pennsylvania businessman Chris Hackett's Tenth District this week, another stop Boehner will be making later this month.

Cole will also make a western swing next week, dropping in on Arizona State Senate President Tim Bee, New Mexico candidates Ed Tinsley and Darren White and Kansas challengers Lynn Jenkins, who won a contentious primary this week, and Nick Jordan. Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri is the only incumbent on Cole's schedule at the moment.

House Democratic Conference chairman Rahm Emanuel was in New Mexico yesterday, stumping for Democratic candidates running for all three of the state's open seats. Democrats are expected to hold Rep. Tom Udall's northern Third District and compete for the Republican-held Second District, in the south part of the state. The First District, being vacated by Republican Rep. Heather Wilson, looks like one of the most competitive races in the country.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen have not announced their travel plans yet. Hoyer has been one of the most aggressive stumpers on the Democratic side, making stops of late for candidates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.