Texas Dems highlight health care in fight to flip state House

Texas Democrats are making health care the heart of their final pitch as they look to flip the state House, which Republicans have held since 2002.

In a “contract with Texas” that Democrats are rolling out Thursday and which was shared first with The Hill, the party is touting policies it would try to enact should it flip the net nine seats it needs to gain control of the chamber. The central pillar of the plan is expanding Medicaid in Texas, which has the highest number and rate of uninsured people in the nation, as well as boosting coverage for children and making care for women more equal. 

The party is betting that voters in the state who normally rank health care as a top issue will be even more receptive to messages around expanding coverage in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the Lone Star State particularly hard. And after Democrats across the country won in a “blue wave” in 2018 fueled by promises to improve coverage, Texas Democrats are confident their strategy will work. 

“I think we have seen for a while now, before the pandemic, before any of us heard of coronavirus, that health care was a top-ranked issue, really across the country. Certainly in the 2018 elections, health care was a key issue that year,” said state Rep. Chris Turner, chair of the Texas House Democratic caucus. “But this year, with this pandemic, with the health care crisis that is affecting everyone, it’s just through the roof right now. People expect policymakers to address health care access.” 

The heart of the Democrats’ “Affordable Health Care for Every Texan” plan is providing coverage for 2.2 million more residents by expanding Medicaid, which the party says would also lower premiums and prescription drug prices for all Texans. Estimates from the party gauge that Texas would receive $110 billion in federal money over a decade if Medicaid is expanded. 

The plan also calls for expanding coverage for children by extending children’s Medicaid “through 12 months of continuous eligibility to align with [the Children’s Health Insurance Program].”

Lastly, Democrats look to bolster women’s health care by ensuring access to abortion — including by ensuring clinics that offer the procedure receive proper funding — and reducing maternal mortality rates, including bringing down the disproportionate rate at which Black mothers die during childbirth.

The party is also eyeing other health care-related legislation, including bills to strengthen protections for people with preexisting conditions if ObamaCare is repealed and ending surprise medical billing.

Texas Democrats have long lamented Republicans’ policies on health care in the state, including their refusal to expand Medicaid and work to curb abortion access, but indicate those efforts would face reenergized resistance if they win back the state House.

“Without the gavel, we haven’t been able to dictate the tone and tenor of what happens on the floor, so this time around we will be able to keep divisive and hurtful legislation off the floor and we’ll

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Trump ‘fever-free’ for four days, ‘symptom-free’ for 24 hours in coronavirus fight, White House physician says

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a new memo on Wednesday that President Trump has been “fever-free” for four days and has not had any symptoms of the novel coronavirus for “over 24 hours.”

“The President this morning says ‘I feel great!’,” Conley wrote in a memo to press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. “His physical exam and vital signs, including oxygen saturation and respiratory rate, all remain stable and in normal range.”

TRUMP, FIGHTING CORONAVIRUS, SAYS HE IS ‘LOOKING FORWARD’ TO DEBATE ON OCT. 15

Conley added that the president has “now been fever-free for more than 4 days, symptom-free for over 24 hours, and has not needed nor received any supplemental oxygen since initial hospitalization.”

“Of note today, the President’s labs demonstrated detectable levels of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies from labs drawn Monday, October 5th; initial IgG levels drawn late Thursday night were undetectable,” Conley continued, adding that the president’s medical team will “continue to closely monitor” and will provide updates as necessary.

The update comes after the president was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and returned to the White House on Monday evening, where he is continuing to be treated for COVID-19.

The president faced health scares throughout his battle with COVID-19, including two instances in which his blood oxygen level dropped suddenly. Doctors treated the president with a dose of the steroid dexamethasone in response.

Conley said that Trump had a “high fever” and a blood oxygen level below 94% on Friday and during “another episode” on Saturday.

But by Saturday, Conley said the president’s cardiac, kidney and liver functions were normal, and that the president was not on oxygen and was not having any difficulty breathing or walking.

Conley said over the weekend that the president had received an antibody cocktail, as well as zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin, along with his five-day course of Remdesivir.

TRUMP DISCHARGED FROM WALTER REED, RETURNS TO WHITE HOUSE TO CONTINUE FIGHTING COVID-19

The president, according to his medical team, was set to receive his final dose of Remdesivir at the White House on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, first lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive for COVID-19, tweeted Monday saying she is “feeling good.”

“My family is grateful for all of the prayers & support!” she tweeted Monday. “I am feeling good & will continue to rest at home.

Also on Monday, White House press secretary McEnany announced that she had tested positive for COVID-19.

Other White House staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 at this point include senior adviser Hope Hicks, Stephen Miller and director of Oval Office operations Nick Luna. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien also tested positive for COVID-19.

Former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway has also tested positive and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who participated in debate prep with the president recently, did too and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend.

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Questions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight

The White House and President TrumpDonald John TrumpJaime Harrison debates Graham behind plexiglass shield Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump given second dose of Remdesivir ‘without complication’, ‘not yet out of the woods’, Conley says MORE‘s doctors sought Sunday to project a positive message about the president’s battle against COVID-19 even as contradictory statements and limited information left a number of unanswered questions about his condition.

The team of doctors caring for President Trump on Sunday said he could return to the White House as soon as Monday while at the same time disclosing he had been on supplemental oxygen and that he was receiving a drug normally given to seriously ill patients.

And Trump himself sparked concern – and outrage – when he left his hospital room at Walter Reed Military Medical Center to wave to the supporters gathered outside from the back seat of an SUV.

White House physician Sean Conley said Sunday that Trump has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen levels since he was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus late Thursday evening and that he had received supplemental oxygen at least once. 

The doctors also said Trump was given a steroid called dexamethasone that is generally given to people seriously ill with COVID-19, which has killed nearly 210,000 people in the U.S.

 

The White House physician admitted that officials had been intentionally vague a day earlier when pointedly asked when Trump had been administered supplemental oxygen in an attempt to be “upbeat” about the president’s prognosis.

“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, over his course of illness has had. I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction, and in doing so, came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true,” he told reporters in a Sunday morning news conference outside Walter Reed Medical Center, where Trump has been since Friday.

White House communications director Alyssa Farah after the medical briefing echoed that sentiment.

“The other point I would make, which is what [Conley] alluded to, is when you’re treating a patient, you want to project confidence. You want to lift their spirits, and that was the intent,” she said.

Even as he disclosed more on Sunday, Conley avoided answering questions about what X-rays and CT scans had revealed and whether Trump’s lungs had been damaged.

Asked whether Trump is being held in a negative pressure room, Conley declined to “get into the specifics of his care.”

Conley also said that he didn’t know whether Trump had received another dose of supplemental oxygen on Saturday, the second time he experienced a drop in his oxygen level, adding that he would need to check with the president’s nurses.

Trump himself appeared in a video later Sunday, promising a “surprise visit” to supporters gathered outside the hospital and saying that he had “learned a lot” about COVID-19 since his

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Trump says ‘real test’ lies ahead in his COVID-19 fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said from his hospital room that the next few days will be the “real test” of his treatment for COVID-19, after a series of contradictory messages from the White House caused widespread confusion about his condition.

In a four-minute video posted on Twitter on Saturday from his hospital suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a tired-looking Trump said he was feeling “much better.”

“Over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test, so we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days,” Trump said into the camera, seated in front of an American flag and wearing a jacket and open-necked shirt.

Trump’s illness has upended the campaign ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election and cast a spotlight on the president’s handling of the pandemic. The Republican president is trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden in opinion polls.

Differing assessments of Trump’s health from administration officials earlier on Saturday left it unclear how ill the president had become since he tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday night.

A White House team of doctors said on Saturday morning Trump’s condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House.

Within minutes, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave reporters a less rosy assessment, saying, “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

Meadows, whose initial comments were delivered on condition that he not be identified, altered his tone hours later, telling Reuters that Trump was doing “very well” and that “doctors are very pleased with his vital signs.”

Meadows did not clarify the discrepancy in his comments. A Trump adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity said the president was not happy to learn of Meadows’ initial remarks.

Administration officials have described the move to Walter Reed as precautionary and said Trump would stay for several days.

Another source who was briefed on Trump’s condition said the president was given supplemental oxygen before he went to the hospital. The decision to hospitalize Trump came after he had experienced difficulty breathing and his oxygen level dropped, according to a source familiar with the situation.

White House doctor Sean P. Conley told reporters outside the hospital on Saturday that Trump had not had trouble breathing, and was not given oxygen at Walter Reed.

“The team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” Conley said.

He declined to give a timetable for Trump’s possible release from the hospital, and later had to issue a statement saying he misspoke after appearing to suggest Trump had been diagnosed as early as Wednesday.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Conley said the president was “not yet out of the woods” but his team remained cautiously optimistic.

“Today’s spectacle –

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Trump says ‘real test’ ahead in his COVID fight after mixed messages from White House

Video: Donald Trump’s doctor suggests president may have had coronavirus on Wednesday 30th (The Independent)

Donald Trump’s doctor suggests president may have had coronavirus on Wednesday 30th

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By Alexandra Alper and Jeff Mason



a man standing on a boat: U.S. President Trump arrives to spend at least several days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland


© Reuters/JOSHUA ROBERTS
U.S. President Trump arrives to spend at least several days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump told Americans from his hospital room that the next few days will be the “real test” of his treatment for COVID-19, after a series of contradictory messages from the White House caused widespread confusion about his condition.

In a four-minute video posted on Twitter on Saturday from his hospital suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a tired-looking Trump said he was feeling “much better.”



a truck is parked on the side of a road: Trump supporters gather for a car parade


© Reuters/MEGAN JELINGER
Trump supporters gather for a car parade

“Over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test, so we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days,” Trump said into the camera, seated in front of an American flag and wearing a jacket and open-necked shirt.



Donald Trump sitting in a box: U.S. President Donald Trump, who is being treated for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a military hospital outside Washington, makes announcement via video


© Reuters/THE WHITE HOUSE
U.S. President Donald Trump, who is being treated for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a military hospital outside Washington, makes announcement via video

The remarks came hours after differing assessments of his health from administration officials left it unclear how ill the president had become since he tested positive for the new coronavirus on Thursday night, a matter of enormous public concern.

A White House team of doctors said on Saturday morning that Trump’s condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House. One doctor said Trump told them, “I feel like I could walk out of here today.”



a person holding a sign: Supporters rally at a vigil for U.S. President Trump outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bethesda, Maryland


© Reuters/JONATHAN ERNST
Supporters rally at a vigil for U.S. President Trump outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bethesda, Maryland

Within minutes, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave reporters a less rosy assessment, telling them, “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”



Donald Trump holding a pair of people wearing costumes: Supporters hold vigil for U.S. President Trump outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Trump is being treated for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bethesda, Maryland


© Reuters/JONATHAN ERNST
Supporters hold vigil for U.S. President Trump outside of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Trump is being treated for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bethesda, Maryland

Meadows, whose initial comments were delivered on condition that he not be identified, altered his tone hours later, telling Reuters that Trump was doing “very well” and that “doctors are very pleased with his vital signs.”

Meadows did not clarify the discrepancy in his comments. A Trump adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity said the president was not happy to learn of Meadows’ initial remarks.

Administration officials have described the move to Walter Reed as precautionary and said Trump would stay for several days.

Another source who was

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After mixed messages from White House, Trump says ‘real test’ ahead in his COVID fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said from his hospital room on Saturday that he felt “much better” but the next few days will be “the real test” of his treatment for COVID-19, capping a day of contradictory messages from the White House about his condition.

In a four-minute video posted on Twitter, Trump, looking tired and wearing a jacket and open-necked shirt, said he “wasn’t feeling so well” when he first arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday.

“Over the next period of a few days, I guess that’s the real test, so we’ll be seeing what happens over those next couple of days,” Trump said, seated at a round table in front of an American flag.

The remarks came hours after differing assessments of his health from administration officials left it unclear how ill the president had become since he tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday night, a matter of enormous public concern.

A White House team of doctors said on Saturday morning that Trump’s condition was improving and that he was already talking about returning to the White House. One doctor said Trump told them, ‘I feel like I could walk out of here today.’

Within minutes, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows gave reporters a less rosy assessment, telling them, “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

Meadows, whose initial comments were delivered on condition that he not be identified, altered his tone hours later, telling Reuters that Trump was doing “very well” and that “doctors are very pleased with his vital signs.”

Meadows did not clarify the discrepancy in his comments. A Trump adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity said the president was not happy to learn of Meadows’ initial remarks.

Administration officials have described the move to Walter Reed as precautionary and said Trump would stay at the hospital for several days.

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Another source who was briefed on Trump’s condition said the president was given supplemental oxygen before he went to the hospital. The decision to hospitalize Trump came after he had experienced difficulty breathing and his oxygen level dropped, according to a source familiar with the situation.

White House doctor Sean P. Conley told reporters outside the hospital on Saturday that Trump had not had trouble breathing, and was not given oxygen at Walter Reed.

“The team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” Conley said.

He declined to give a timetable for Trump’s possible release from the hospital, and later had to issue a statement saying he misspoke after appearing to suggest Trump had been diagnosed as early as Wednesday.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Conley said the president was “not yet out of the woods” but his team remained cautiously optimistic.

“Today’s spectacle – doctors saying one

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Kemper House continues the fight against COVID: Strong Points

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Since the start of the pandemic, most of us have been waiting for a time when “this is all over” and “we can return to normal”. Yet at this time, there seems to be no end in sight. Kemper House has worked very hard to keep COVID-19 out of our homes. We are committed to continuing the fight but we also need to get back to putting the needs of our residents and staff first whenever possible in this uphill battle.

As you may be aware, the Ohio Department of Aging and Governor DeWine have mandated that residential care facilities must test all employees every two weeks for COVID-19. Their initial testing program was suspended a couple of weeks ago due to a high number of false positives at the earliest testing facilities. The State has now contracted with a new vendor, Mako Labs out of North Carolina, to process the tests. Testing started on Sept. 30 at Kemper House Strongsville and will take place every other Wednesday after that until the end of the emergency or the State says otherwise. The State does not provide support for the actual testing, however, which must be performed at Kemper House by our nurses. With over 5 million Americans now living with the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease, Kemper House is striving to keep residents safe.

Kemper House is a family owned and operated residential care facility that specializes in caring for individuals with all stages and all types of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias up to and including end of life and hospice care. They provide long-term care, adult day care, and short-term respite stays. They have two locations in the greater Cleveland area: Strongsville and Highland Heights. For more information, go to www.kemperhousestrongsville.com.

Gold Plus Award: Strongsville Fire and Emergency Services has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline 1/4 u00ae EMS Gold Plus Award for 2019. The department has received this award for the past several years. The distinguished award is presented for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication. Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.   “Strongsville Fire and Emergency Services is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” said Fire Chief Jack Draves. “We are pleased to be recognized for our

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Fight over scooter ends in stabbing at Hell’s Kitchen deli

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A man was stabbed outside a Manhattan deli last week moments after fighting over a scooter, video shows.

The NYPD released video late Tuesday showing the violent dispute outside Moal Grocery & Deli at 10th Avenue and W. 51st Street in Hell’s Kitchen last Wednesday night.

The video shows the suspect paying at the register near the front of the store when a man grabs a scooter beside him. The man pulls the scooter outside and is chased by the suspect, who snatches the scooter back, video shows. It’s unclear who owns the vehicle.

The suspect then checks his finger as if it’s injured before rushing out of the store, video shows.

Police said the suspect then stabbed the 42-year-old victim once in the back outside the store. Video appears to show a large knife in his hand during the confrontation.

The victim was taken to Mt. Sinai West in stable condition, police said.

The suspect ran northbound down 10th Avenue, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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‘Problem Solvers’ Meet Their Match in U.S. Congress Coronavirus Aid Fight | Top News

By Patricia Zengerle and David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said Democrats were open to delaying an October recess to get a deal with Republicans on a new coronavirus aid bill, as a $1.5 trillion proposal unveiled by moderates was attacked by conservatives and liberals.

With the U.S. presidential and congressional elections less than two months away, Congress and the White House have been unable to agree on a fifth coronavirus bill, having approved more than $3 trillion worth of measures earlier this year.

“We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement,” Pelosi, a Democrat, said in a CNBC interview, adding that there were disagreements with Republicans on how to “crush the virus” that has now killed more than 194,000 people in the United States.

The House was scheduled to recess no later than Oct. 2 so members can campaign at home for re-election on Nov. 3. But, echoing Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said lawmakers will be on indefinite standby, with 24 hours notice of any vote on a coronavirus aid bill if a deal is reached.

The difficulties in reaching such a deal were on full display as lawmakers from varying points along the political spectrum attacked the compromise floated by the House “Problem Solvers Caucus.”

Some conservatives labeled it as way too expensive at $1.5 trillion. And liberals complained it fell far short of what was needed to boost an economy plagued by the pandemic, and to save lives as more than 194,000 have been killed by COVID-19 in the United States.

Meanwhile, Congress is expected to focus in coming weeks on passing legislation funding the government beyond Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Hoyer said that a stopgap money bill to avert government shutdowns would be put to a House vote next week.

The Problem Solvers proposal drew praise from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Executive Vice President Neil Bradley called it “a reasonable middle ground,” but said expanded liability protections for businesses, something Democrats oppose, still had to be addressed.

The Problem Solvers Caucus, including 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans, has been working to find common ground on coronavirus relief for the past six weeks.

“We can’t wait,” Representative Josh Gottheimer, the group’s Democratic co-chairman, told a news conference, saying the proposal was intended to get the two sides back to the table.

The gulf between Democrats in Congress and the White House is wide. In mid-May, the House approved a $3.4 trillion aid plan. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded by calling for a “pause” in any new funds.

By late July, he offered a $1 trillion bill that many of his fellow Republicans rejected, only to then put a $300 billion bill up for a vote that Democrats blocked as insufficient. Meanwhile, Pelosi had offered to drop her aid demand to $2.4 trillion and the White House signaled a willingness to accept $1.3 trillion.

Representative Tom Reed,

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Veteran House incumbents fight for their seats as districts evolve

WASHINGTON — As he logs another campaign season piloting his single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza around his vast, crimson-red Minnesota district, voters greet Rep. Collin Peterson by name. But something else is hauntingly familiar as the Democrat seeks a 16th term in Congress.

“There are so many Trump signs out here you wouldn’t believe it,” Peterson, 76, said recently.

Much of the focus in this year’s fight for House control will be on dozens of freshmen Democrats who gave the party its majority in 2018 by capturing Republican-held seats. But there’s a smaller category of lawmakers like Peterson and GOP Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio who also merit attention: long-term incumbents of both parties fighting to preserve their careers.

Like their newer, more vulnerable colleagues, these congressional veterans are at the mercy of the country’s growing partisan fragmentation. This trend, which President Donald Trump has intensified, has seen conservative rural districts turn increasingly Republican while suburban voters exhausted by his discord-driven presidency flee the GOP in droves.

“These days for many voters, just seeing an ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to a name, that’s enough,” said Gary Jacobson, political science professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego.

Trump carried Peterson’s district by 31 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election, his biggest margin in any of the 29 House seats Democrats hold.

Over 90% of House incumbents are usually reelected, thanks to name recognition and campaign fundraising advantages. But they’re not immune to defeat. In the 2018 Democratic wave, 30 representatives seeking reelection — all Republicans — were defeated, including seven who’d served at least a decade. One, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., was in the House for 30 years.

This year, around a dozen representatives who’ve served at least five two-year terms have potentially competitive contests. Most are Republicans, whose numbers in this category would be higher if eight others who faced difficult races in states including Georgia, North Carolina and Texas had sought reelection rather than retiring.

Rep. Don Young of Alaska, 87, first elected in a 1973 special election and the longest serving Republican in House history, is favored but faces a well-financed opponent. Other GOP representatives eyeing tough races include David Schweikert of Arizona, reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee for campaign finance violations; Mike McCaul, whose Texas district includes suburbs of Houston and Austin; and Jaime Herrera Beutler of southwest Washington state.

Other close races for long-serving Republicans may loom in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

Among Democrats, Reps. Ron Kind, a 12-term Wisconsin veteran, and Peter DeFazio, who’s served 17 terms from Oregon, are seeking reelection in closely divided districts but seem likely to win.

In a western Minnesota district stretching from the Canadian border to the Minneapolis exurbs, Peterson faces former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, one of his most serious GOP challengers yet.

“Collin has been there a very long time,” the Trump-endorsed Fischbach, 54, said in an interview. To

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