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Casey Christie / The Californian

Tulare County native Amanda Renteria.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added valley Democrat Amanda Renteria to its list of "Jumpstart" candidates recruited to challenge congressional Republicans next year.

According to a committee news release, Democratic strategists believe the 16-day partial government shutdown, which ended last week, has left Republican incumbents vulnerable in next year's congressional elections.

The committee launched the Jumpstart program in early 2013, the release said, to provide financial, communications, operational and strategic support to what it refers to as "top recruits" in its growing list of challengers.

Renteria, 38, of Sanger, is a Harvard Business School graduate who worked for two U.S. senators before coming home to launch her campaign for Congress in the 21st District against freshman Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford. She announced her intention to run in late September.

In the release, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said the shutdown has left voters hungry for change.

"House Republicans' reckless government shutdown has inspired Democratic candidates to step forward because they want to change the direction of this Republican Congress and put the middle class first," he said.