The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has announced ten candidates who have made it to the top-tier in its “Young Gun” program, which supplies guidance and resources to select Republican Congressional candidates around the country. Colorado state Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, won second-tier “Contender” status in the program in October but he was not among the Contenders graduated to Young Guns today.
Calls to the NRCC and to Gardner have so far gone unreturned today.
The program was founded during the 2008 election cycle by Reps. Eric Cantor, R-Va., Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. Candidates asked to participate in the program are required to reach fundraising and campaigning goals before being advanced.
Although Gardner fundraising dipped significantly in the third quarter last year, his fourth quarter fundraising was robust. He raised nearly $198,000 and had $383,000 cash on hand.
The national nod gave the Gardner campaign notice and added legitimacy in the eyes of some analysts in October but it’s unclear whether the connection to the NRCC is a positive or negative among the Tea Party crowd which has so far supplied the majority of early interest on the GOP side of the Fourth District House race.
Democratic incumbent Rep. Betsy Markey raised roughly $227,000 in the fourth quarter and has roughly $869,000 cash on hand.
The NRCC’s first round of Young Guns includes Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, Tim Griffin, R-Ark., Andy Harris, R-Md., Pat Meehan, R-Penn., Steve Pearce, R-N.M., Martha Roby, R-Ala., Dennis Ross, R-Fla., Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, Vaughn Ward, R-Idaho, and Allen West, R-Fla.