Tracking the U.S. House Races Like a Foreign Policy Pro

Democrats are expected to take the House, but there are a few races that could really shape U.S. foreign policy.

By , a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy, and , a Pentagon and national security reporter at Foreign Policy.
election-house-races-foreign-policy
election-house-races-foreign-policy
AP and Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration

Democrats are widely expected to retain control of the House. In fact, David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report predicts that the Democratic Party will pick up anywhere between five and 20 new seats. Here are the races that foreign-policy pros should be watching most closely:

Texas 10th District: Michael McCaul (1), the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is in a toss-up race against second-time Democratic challenger Mike Siegel, according to the Cook Political Report. (Siegel lost his bid to represent the Republican-leaning district by just over 4 percentage points two years ago.)

Texas 22nd: Sri Kulkarni (2), a former foreign service officer, is running for Congress in Texas’s 22nd District—an area where voters have helped turn Texas from a deep red state to a potential battleground for Democrats.

Democrats are widely expected to retain control of the House. In fact, David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report predicts that the Democratic Party will pick up anywhere between five and 20 new seats. Here are the races that foreign-policy pros should be watching most closely:

Texas 10th District: Michael McCaul (1), the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is in a toss-up race against second-time Democratic challenger Mike Siegel, according to the Cook Political Report. (Siegel lost his bid to represent the Republican-leaning district by just over 4 percentage points two years ago.)

Texas 22nd: Sri Kulkarni (2), a former foreign service officer, is running for Congress in Texas’s 22nd District—an area where voters have helped turn Texas from a deep red state to a potential battleground for Democrats.

Texas 23rd: Gina Ortiz Jones (3), a U.S. Air Force veteran, is in a heated race to gain the sprawling 23rd District of Texas that spans nearly one-third of the U.S.-Mexico border. Republican Rep. Will Hurd, a former CIA officer, announced last year he would not run again.

Michigan 8th: Rep. Elissa Slotkin (4), a former CIA analyst and senior Pentagon official, is running for reelection in Michigan. She has been vocal about fears of homegrown extremism and how the hyperpartisan and ultra-politicized atmosphere across the country could become a grave national security threat.

New Jersey 3rd: Rep. Andy Kim (5), a former National Security Council staffer in the Obama administration, is running for reelection in New Jersey’s 3rd District after winning by a narrow margin in 2018. He is one of a group of national security experts who ditched the Beltway to run for Congress in 2018. He’s also co-chair of the House’s National Security Task Force.

New Jersey 7th: Rep. Tom Malinowski (6), a former senior State Department official in the Obama administration, is running in a tight race for a second term in Congress. From his perch on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Malinowski has been one of the Democrats’ most vocal critics of Trump’s foreign policy and of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  

Virginia 7th: Once represented by two-term Republican insurgent Dave Brat (who knocked off House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a 2014 primary upset), this suburban Richmond district is now the site of a close fight between Rep. Abigail Spanberger (7)—a Blue Dog Democrat and former CIA official who sits on the House Foreign Affairs committee—and Republican challenger and Army veteran Nick Freitas (8).

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Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

Jack Detsch is a Pentagon and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @JackDetsch

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