Trump impeachment drove record candidate recruitment, Republicans say

Republicans say the record number of GOP candidates who filed to run for Congress this cycle point to the Democrats’ “socialist agenda” and “impeachment obsession” as the main motivators.

According to recently released federal candidate financial information obtained by Fox News, 781 Republicans filed federal paperwork to run for the House in the 2020 cycle.

This is the highest number ever recorded by the Federal Election Commission in an odd year. In 2017, 593 GOP candidates filed to run for the House compared to 937 Democrats. A year later, Democrats won the House majority.

Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the gavel in January 2019, House Democrats have passed a slew of bills that have stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate, including campaign finance reform legislation, a universal background check bill, and a proposal to repeal drilling in the Arctic region.

House Democrats on Dec. 18 also impeached President Trump on two charges related to the Ukraine military aid affair, though he was acquitted in the Senate.

“Democrats’ insane socialist agenda and obsessive efforts to remove President Trump from office have inspired a record-number of Republicans to get off the sidelines and run for higher office. With House Democrats’ full embrace of socialism, Republicans are poised to retake the House Majority,” National Republican Campaign Committee spokesman Mike McAdams told the Washington Examiner.

Democrats say the high interest of Republicans running for the House is only due to the high number of retirements on the Republican side, and there are more seats for the GOP to challenge since losing the majority to the Democrats in 2018.

Still, state committee officials in New Jersey, California, New Mexico, and Georgia told the Washington Examiner their recruits were attracted to run for office over the policies pushed by the Democratic Party on the federal and state level.

Forty-eight Georgia Republicans have filed candidate papers to run in one of the state’s 14 House districts.

The New Jersey Republican Party gained seats last year in their state legislature that the party had not occupied in 20 years, and one party official told the Washington Examiner about expecting more gains.

One of those primary candidates is David Richter, who is vying for a suburban Philadelphia seat held by first-term Democratic Rep. Andy Kim.

“After watching Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats retake control of the House in the Blue Wave of 2018, I wanted to do everything I could to support President Trump and help Republicans retake majority control of the House,” Richter said. “This year’s election is critically important for the future of our country, as voters will have to decide between continuing to support President Trump’s pro-growth economic agenda or turn down the dead-end path of socialism.”

The Republican Party of New Mexico confirmed to the Washington Examiner that 16 candidates are competing for the GOP nominations of a U.S. Senate seat and three House seats.

“We have a diverse group of federal candidates who are determined to flip our state red and who are tired of the left-leaning agenda that’s hurting New Mexico,” said Mike Curtis, the communications director of the Republican Party of New Mexico, in a statement. “These candidates understand that our current delegation has failed our state and that it is time to make a difference to help New Mexicans.”

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