Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

House GOP Names 17 Promising Candidates as ‘Contenders’

The National Republican Congressional Committee elevated 17 GOP candidates to “contenders” in its Young Guns program on Wednesday, identifying them as top candidates to oust vulnerable Democrats in November.

The “contender” designation is the second level in the Young Guns program, which seeks to provide organizational support to Republican House candidates.

“Contender candidates have completed stringent program metrics and are on the path to developing a mature and competitive campaign operation,” according to an NRCC news release. “They are in congressional seats that appear favorable to the GOP candidate.”

Any Republican House candidate can participate in the program, but only those who meet certain benchmarks are elevated through the ranks. The NRCC doesn’t publicly list the criteria for advancement in the program.

The 17 “contenders” come from an initial pool of 36 candidates the NRCC identified in November. The NRCC says the other candidates from the initial pool still have the opportunity to advance through the program, and notes that these 17 contenders are part of the first wave of candidates to advance.

The 17 contenders are:

Arkansas 2: Banker French Hill
Arizona 2: Retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally
California 3: State Assemblyman Dan Logue
California 7: Former Rep. Doug Ose, former Capitol Hill aide Igor Birman, businesswoman Elizabeth Emken
California 36: State Assemblyman Brian Nestande
California 45: State Sen. Mimi Walters
California 52: Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio
Illinois 10: Former Rep. Bob Dold
Illinois 11: State Rep. Darlene Senger
Illinois 12: State Rep. Mike Bost
Illinois 17: Former Rep. Bobby Schilling
Massachusetts 6: Former state Sen. Richard Tisei (who sat down for an interview in the Roll Call office recently)
Minnesota 8: Businessman Stewart Mills
Utah 4: Former Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love
West Virginia 3: State Sen. Evan Jenkins

  • SamHamilton

    …identifying them as top candidates to oust vulnerable Democrats in November.

    This is not an accurate description. Some of these people are running in open-seat contests, including some seats that are being vacated by Republicans (AR-2, CA-45 for example).


    If the extension bill finally becomes a reality, and is passed, I’ll be happy for those families that were still able to hang on since late last December without benefits, and the means to survive economically. Sadly. for far too many of us, we were no longer able to wait while the politicians stalled and debated, and basically played ‘party politics”. Many of us have suffered severely financially, and have become homeless and penniless. I’ve asked myself many times, how can our government spend tax payer’s money freely, for Foreign Aid, and Corporate Welfare, but can’t seem to get it together, in order to help American families who became unemployed due to lay offs and corporate downsizing? This long drawn out debate to pass an extension bill for unemployed workers, is truly a shame. Our government had passed many bills for many less qualified reasons, such as the Banking and Airline industry bailouts, amongst others. These industries were rewarded for bad behavior and corporate greed. I don’t recall them having to wait months and months to be given assistance. Isn’t the rest of Americans entitled to at least a minimum amount of help? I’m not sure what I resent the most, their lack of help, or them labeling us “lazy” and “unwilling” to work. What ever became of “public servants” in our country? We seem to now only have self-centered, self-absorbed, self-promoting, career politicians, that only represent themselves and their party’s agenda

  • tomfiore

    Wow it looks like there may even be a few who aren’t white men! But just a few.

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