NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions tapped four freshmen to serve as regional directors for the 2012 election cycle.
Added Royce: “It’s a win-win for us. It assists them, but it can also help inspire other would-be candidates to come forward and run.”
Royce noted that Denham was an active campaigner for other GOP colleagues while he was vying to win California’s open 19th Congressional district last year. Other more senior campaign warriors were also selected as regional chairmen for the 2012 cycle. Coffman, who coasted to re-election last year with 66 percent, noted that he also helped campaign for colleagues throughout his home state of Colorado in 2010. Now, as a regional director for the 2012 cycle, Coffman is responsible for helping incumbents in New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. Seven freshman lawmakers hail from those four Western states, and the area will be heavily contested on both sides and particularly among presidential candidates.
“I think my whole thing is to focus on folks in my region and encourage these members to aggressively move forward with raising money early to send the message that they’re serious candidates,” Coffman said, echoing a message handed down to Members by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) during an off-campus Conference meeting Monday.
Boehner told freshmen Tuesday that he expected their March 31 filings with the Federal Election Commission would be strong. The Speaker told Members that he would be monitoring their reports closely, said a GOP aide with knowledge of the meeting.
“I know you’re also being asked to raise funds for the dinner, but your campaign accounts in the first and second quarter go a long way in determining your opposition,” Boehner told Members, the aide said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.