A SPECTER IS haunting the House of Representatives: the specter of primaries. All the powers of the status quo have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter. Blacklists have been drawn up; arms have been locked. The ferocity with which House Democratic incumbents have rallied around each other reached absurd new dimensions this week. With Crisanta Duran, the first Latina state House speaker in Colorado history, challenging Rep. Diana Degette, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus weighed into the primary — on behalf of Degette.
Democratic Reps. Dan Lipinski, Ill.; Eliot Engel, N.Y.; Henry Cuellar, Texas; Steny Hoyer, Md.; and Jerry Nadler, N.Y., are all facing primary challenges, and paranoia is being stoked inside the Democratic caucus. “The question that comes up all the time is, is there anybody internally assisting and abetting, encouraging people to run against incumbents?” Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat from New Jersey, told Politico.