The Republican Party has unveiled its 2014 top 10 list of candidates for the House, dubbed "Young Guns," which the party wants to see make it to the next Congress after the votes are tallied in November.
The candidates on the list for the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program rank on the top tier of the organization's three-level recruitment program and are believed to have the best chances for success in their races.
"Candidates that reach 'Young Gun' status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in a position to win on Election Day," NRCC Chairman Greg Walden
said in a release on Monday. "Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama administration."
The 10 candidates earned their status by demonstrating "their ability to build a formidable campaign structure and achieve important goals and benchmarks," the NRCC said, adding that more candidates will subsequently be added to the list.
The list also operates as a beacon to donors and the political world to help ensure candidates attract the resources they need to succeed.
The new Young Guns are:
- Retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally, who is challenging Rep. Ron Barber for Arizona's Second District.
- Miami Dade County School Board member Carlos Curbelo, who is challenging Rep. Joe Garcia for Florida's 26th District.
- Former Rep. Bob Dold, who is challenging Rep. Brad Schneider for Illinois' 10th District.
- State Rep. Mike Bost, who is challenging Rep. Bill Enyart in Illinois' 12th District.
- Former state Sen. Richard Tisei, who is challenging Rep. John Tierney for Massachusetts' Sixth District.
- State Sen. Torrey Westrom, who is challenging Rep. Collin C. Peterson for Minnesota's Seventh District.
- Businessman Stewart Mills, who is challenging Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota's Eighth District.
- Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello, who is running to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach for Pennsylvania's Sixth District.
- Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock, who is running to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Frank Wolf for Virginia's 10th District.
- State Sen. Evan Jenkins, who is challenging Rep. Nick J. Rahall II for West Virginia's Third District.
The original "Young Guns" came about during the 2007-08 election cycle, based on an effort by Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, and Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan to support and mentor challenger and open-seat candidates in races across the country.
The NRCC made the program official for the past two election cycles. Participants are required to work toward specific goals and meet benchmarks throughout the year to ensure their continued participation in the program, according to the organization.
In the 2012 election cycle, the program helped to elect 35 new Republican members to the 113th Congress.
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