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congress.jpgTwo California congressional hopefuls are among the beneficiaries of a new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee program aimed at nurturing promising candidates for 2014.

The DCCC effort, called Jumpstart, has identified an initial batch of eight candidates to support with financial help and strategic advice, including Californians Michael Eggman and Pete Aguilar.

Beekeeper and farmer Eggman, who's the brother of Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Eggman of Stockton, announced recently that he will challenge Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, in the 10th Congressional District.

Aguilar, now mayor of Redlands, is taking another shot at the 31st Congressional District seat held by Republican Rep. Gary Miller of Diamond Bar.

So far, Eggman doesn't face any opposition from other Democrats -- astronaut Jose Hernandez, who lost to Denham last year, has not yet declared his intentions. But Aguilar has already come under attack from former Rep. Joe Baca, who lost his congressional seat last fall to fellow Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod. She's backing Aguilar in his bid for Miller's seat.

Jumpstart is distinct from a similar Democratic initiative, Red to Blue, that seeks to bolster the campaigns of key Democratic candidates. Six of the seven California Democrats backed by Red to Blue last year won their campaigns.

"(DCCC) Chairman (Steve) Israel began making calls to prospective candidates on Election Night 2012, and has assembled an aggressive Recruitment Committee chaired by Congresswoman Donna Edwards," says a memo announcing the program. You can take a look at the memo here:

First Jumpstart Candidates for 2014

PHOTO CREDIT: Californians Michael Eggman and Pete Aguilar are among a crop of DCCC-supported candidates trying to make it to Congress, whose dome is pictured here on Dec. 28, 2012. Susan Walsh / Associated Press



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