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Parties recruit veterans to run for House in 2014

First Published      Last Updated Nov 29 2013 10:39 am
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While serving in the military can help earn candidates a second glance from voters, it doesn't necessarily translate into success at the polls.

In 2006, Democrats placed great emphasis on the "fighting Dems," a group of 55 challengers running for office against Republican incumbents at a time when the war in Iraq was the dominant campaign issue. Of that group, only four won and only Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., still serves in the House.

Analysts say that most congressional districts are so stacked toward one party or the other that incumbents generally face little threat of losing, regardless of a challenger's resume.

Seth Lynn, who helps train veterans to run for political office through workshops and fellowships at George Washington University, said military success might lead some veterans to enter races that, in the end, just aren't winnable.

"There are a lot of people who succeed in the military and have done so against great odds," Lynn said. "They look at a congressional race and say, 'I can do this, too.'"