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Republican Freshmen Stick Together

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Reps. Sandy Adams (above) and Jeff Landry are seeing significant support from their freshman Republican brethren in their primaries against veteran Members.

If blood is indeed thicker than water, freshman GOP lawmakers are demonstrating they are one tight family.

Freshman House Republicans are lining up behind two fellow members of their class who are fighting more senior Republicans because of redistricting, appearing at fundraisers and vouching to provide support in other ways as well.

The two beneficiaries are Reps. Sandy Adams (Fla.) and Jeff Landry (La.), who face Reps. John Mica and Charles Boustany, respectively.

At a meeting of the freshman class last Wednesday at the Capitol Hill Club, the subject came up and Members generally agreed to support Adams and Landry, sources said.

“They agreed to back them because, as a class, they came here to change the way Washington works,” said a Republican aide who was at the meeting.

One freshman said the class will not take an official position. For instance, neither Adams nor Landry are part of the “Freshman Hold ’Em” candidate retention program that a group of five lawmakers have spearheaded.

But, the lawmaker said, the “overwhelming majority” of the class will be backing both candidates.

To show some measure of such support last week, a number of freshmen appeared at two fundraisers, one for Adams and one for Landry.

An invitation for an Adams June 20 event held at a Capitol Hill row house listed Reps. Dan Benishek (Mich.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Bill Flores (Texas), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Rich Nugent (Fla.), Martha Roby (Ala.), Dennis Ross (Fla.), Austin Scott (Ga.) and Allen West (Fla.) as featured guests.

The support of Scott, the freshman class president and West, a high-profile favorite of conservative activists, is particularly helpful to Adams.

The Value in Electing Women Political Action Committee helped host the event.

Appearing at a Landry fundraiser last week were Duncan and freshman Reps. Jeff Denham (Calif.), Mick Mulvaney (S.C.) and Steve Southerland (Fla.) and veteran lawmakers Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Don Young (Alaska), a GOP consultant said.

Adams also received aid from a group of female lawmakers at an April 25 fundraiser, including House GOP Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) and freshman Rep. Kristi Noem (S.D.).

McMorris Rodgers has not endorsed Adams or Mica, a spokesman said.

In fact, she had agreed to the fundraiser before the two Florida Republicans had filed papers to run in the same district and gave Mica a heads-up and offered to appear at one of his events.

Adams’ campaign committee is also listed on the statement of organization filed with the Federal Election Commission for the “Freshman Class JFC,” a joint fundraising committee whose treasurer is Lisa Lisker of Huckaby Davis Lisker.

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