The National Republican Congressional Committee re-launched its Young Guns program Wednesday by placing five GOP candidates "On the Radar."
Businessman Randy Altschuler, who is running against Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), attorney Andy Barr, who is running against Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) and former state Rep. Jackie Walorski, who is running for the open seat in Indiana's 2nd district, have achieved "On the Radar" status in the program. All three candidates are running for a second cycle in a row.
Additionally, the NRCC announced that businessman Steve Daines and former Rhode Island police superintendent Brendan Doherty achieved "On the Radar" status in the Young Guns program. Daines is running for the open at-large seat in Montana and Doherty is challenging Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.)
"These five candidates have proven themselves by meeting critical benchmarks toward building winning campaigns to defeat Washington Democrats' failed agenda," NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said in a statement. "These candidates are ready to fight for pro-growth solutions on behalf of middle-class families and small businesses that are struggling under Democrats' tax, borrow and spend policies."
The NRCC puts GOP candidates in the program in one of three ascending ranks: On the Radar, Contenders and Young Guns. Every Republican House candidate can enroll in the program, but they must meet certain fundraising and campaign goals to achieve those three levels.
Last cycle, 62 of the 92 Young Guns candidates won their races, according to figures provided by the NRCC.
So far this cycle, the NRCC reports more than 25 GOP candidates have enrolled in the Young Guns program. Five have achieved the first-tier "On the Radar" status.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) founded the original Young Guns program in the 2008 cycle to identify and recruit candidates.
In 2009, the NRCC took over the program and used it to recruit, train and reward their best open-seat and challenger candidates. Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan remain active in the program's fundraising drive and Member involvement initiatives.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.