By Jean Merl
May 1, 2015

The GOP has added two more Californians to its list of House members it considers most vulnerable in next year’s elections.

The National Republican Congressional Committee on Friday named Reps. Stephen Knight (R-Palmdale) and Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) to its Patriot Program. The program gives added attention, including fundraising help, to reelection campaigns in districts most likely to flip to the Democratic column in 2016.

Knight and Denham join Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford), who was the only Californian among the initial list of 12 vulnerable GOP representatives released earlier this year.

All three represent former Republican strongholds where Democrats have made registration gains. But Democrats see the northern Los Angeles County district of Knight, a freshman, as a particularly strong prospect as they try to build their numbers in Congress.

Knight recently was caught on a video, posted on YouTube, telling a protester he would “drop your ass” if the man, who patted the congressman’s arm during an argument, touched him again.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seized on the video to portray Knight as a hothead, and on Knight’s lackluster fundraising. He raised just $40,800 between the November election and March 31, according to his campaign filings with the government. He reported $29,000 in his campaign treasury and owing more than $52,000.

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