Blum yields top spot on 'most vulnerable' House list
Top spot goes to Florida rep who won't fundraise
James Q. Lynch
CEDAR RAPIDS — Not that he’s misses it, but Iowa 1st District Rep. Rod Blum has lost his title as the most vulnerable member of the U.S. House.
He’s now the second most vulnerable House member, according to Roll Call, which covers Capitol Hill.
The top spot has been taken by Florida Rep. David Jolly, who refuses to do campaign fundraising and is facing former Gov. Charlie Crist — a Republican turned Democrat.
Roll Call said that with the National Republican Congressional Committee adding Blum to its Patriot Program and reserving television ad time in the 20-county northeast Iowa district, “Blum slides down from first to second.”
It also cites Blum’s cash on hand advantage and ability to self-finance his campaign if he chooses.
However, as a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus in a district that President Barack Obama carried twice, “his re-election still looks daunting,” Roll Call said Tuesday.
Blum, a Dubuque business owner who won an open-seat election in 2014, “doesn’t pay much attention to what Washington, D.C., pundits — particularly Roll Call, who got our race wrong in 2014 — are saying this time around,” campaign spokesman Jeff Patch said.
Citing a recent poll showing Blum leading Democratic challenger Monica Vernon of Cedar Rapids 50 percent to 43 percent, Patch said Blum “knows he is in a strong position.”
Vernon campaign manager Michelle Gajewski had no comment on the Roll Call ranking.