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Democrats recruit conservative candidates

Oct. 30, 2006 at 12:42 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- The Democratic Party, seeking to retake the U.S. House of Representatives, has recruited some conservative and moderate candidates.

The candidates often hold views at odds with the national Democratic platform, such as opposition to abortion rights and gun control laws, The New York Times reported Monday.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, who leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, pushed aside criticism that the new moderate voices in the party would not have a strong voice in a Democrat-controlled House.

"Will they have an impact? Absolutely," Emanuel told the Times. "They're going to have an impact on the Congress and the caucus."

Democratic officials said they did not specifically seek moderate and conservative candidates, they merely looked for potential congressmen who could win against Republican incumbents and challengers for open seats.

"My guess is that if Democrats are in the majority, it's going to be because of these New Democrat, Blue Dog candidates out there winning in these competitive swing districts," said Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., referring to the Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions of conservative and moderate Democrats.

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