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Dozen GOP 'Young Guns' Selected for House

Thursday, 10 May 2012 03:46 PM

By Dan Weil

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has chosen the first group of GOP congressional candidates to participate in its Young Guns program. The program is designed to support candidates who can ensure and increase Republican control of the House.

The 12 participants are mostly running for Democratic-held seats, Politico reports. Half of the initial Young Guns face Democratic incumbents. These Republicans include Keith Rothfus of Pennsylvania, Matt Doheny and Randy Altschuler of New York, Richard Tisei of Massachusetts, Andy Barr of Kentucky, and Ricky Gill of California.

The NRCC is also helping three candidates who are trying to win seats being vacated by Democratic congressmen. They include Jackie Walorski of Indiana and Jason Plummer of Illinois. Young Gun Jesse Kelly of Arizona is running in next month’s special election to finish the term of former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Two other GOP candidates are chasing seats that were created through redistricting and don’t have an incumbent. They are David Valadao of California and Mia Love of Utah. And finally, Young Gun Tony Strickland of California is bidding for a seat being vacated by retiring GOP Rep. Elton Gallegly.

NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions told reporters Wednesday that the Young Guns program will hopefully put Democrats on the defensive in their own territory.

The NRCC began the Young Guns program for the 2008 election. It is designed to assist only candidates who have proven they can run top-level campaigns. Hopefuls must progress through a number of steps before achieving full Young Guns status.

“These candidates have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day,” Sessions said.

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