House Republicans Add Two to Incumbent Protection Program

Jolly recently won a special election in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee added Wednesday two more members to the ranks of its incumbent protection program: Reps. David Jolly of Florida and Tim Walberg of Michigan.  

The “Patriot Program” supports the House GOP's most vulnerable incumbents — a total of 17 members including the two new names. Last month, Jolly won a highly competitive special election in Florida's 13th District (currently rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call). On Tuesday, his former foe, Democratic nominee Alex Sink, announced she would not challenge him this fall.  

In Michigan, Walberg faces a challenge from former state Rep. Pam Byrnes for the 7th District. That race is rated Republican Favored by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.  

“Our Members in the Patriot Program have proven that they are running aggressive and organized campaigns,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement. “An iron-clad campaign spells defeat for Democrats vying to return Nancy Pelosi as speaker, and I applaud the Patriot Members for taking on the challenge of controlling the competitiveness of their races through the strength of their own campaigns.”

 The committee is scheduled to host its third “Patriot Day” of the cycle on May 21. A previous Patriot Day raised $1.5 million for program members, according to an NRCC spokeswoman.

Jolly, Walberg and several other Patriot Program members will benefit from the upcomign Patriot Day: Reps. Dan Benishek of Michigan, Mike Coffman of Colorado, Rodney Davis of Illinois, Chris Gibson of New York and Michael G. Grimm of New York, Joe Heck of Nevada, Steve Southerland II of Florida, and David Valadao of California.  

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently added Rep. Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia to its comparable program for vulnerable incumbents, Frontline.