The candidate: State Rep. Marilinda Garcia. The member: Garcia is running against former state Sen. Gary Lambert for the Republican nomination to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster. The district: Of New Hampshire's two districts, the 2nd is more favorable to Democrats, as President Barack Obama won it in 2012 with 54 percent. The race is rated Leans Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, who is running in New Hampshire's 2nd District, is the sort of the candidate — and voter — that national Republicans are desperately trying to bring into the party fold. She is female, Hispanic and, at 31 years old, young. (Of course, she's not even close to the the youngest in this cycle's batch of recruits.)
Garcia's name surfaced in a recent edition of Roll Call's Farm Team series , which highlights rising stars in every state who might come to Congress in five or 10 years. Garcia opted to run this cycle, but it will not be an easy path for her.
Both of New Hampshire's seats turn over fairly regularly, but the 2nd District is more challenging for Republicans. Garcia's primary is competitive, and Kuster already had more than $1 million the bank by the end of 2013. So, why now?
"I've been working in my state now for — this is going into my eighth year, my fourth term," Garcia said in an interview with CQ Roll Call. "I think the time is now to seize control of the direction our country is going, to make sure that we're empowering the people in my state. I could say, 'Well, I'll run in the future sometime,' but it seems like the future is now.
"Now is the time to get involved, to get engaged. And that goes for me but [for] other people in my generation too. Why act later and let things codify and cement themselves — perhaps, in a way that you don't want to see — when you can be part of the change now?"
This video interview series questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed. Have a question for a candidate? Follow us at @RollCallPols to learn about upcoming interviews. Previous candidate interviews:
- Utah's 4th District: Republican Bob Fuehr
- Massachusetts' 6th District: Democrat Seth Moulton
- New York’s 1st District: Republican Lee Zeldin
- Senate in Kansas: Republican Milton Wolf
- West Virginia’s 2nd: Republican Alex Mooney
- Georgia’s 1st District: Republican Bob Johnson
- Georgia’s 10th District: Republican Mike Collins
- Senate in Minnesota: Republican Julianne Ortman
- Georgia’s 10th District: Republican Donna Sheldon
- California’s 25th District: Democrat Lee Rogers
- Michigan’s 7th District: Democrat Pam Byrnes
- Nevada’s 3rd District: Democrat Erin Bilbray
- Illinois’ 13th District: Democrat Ann Callis
- Ohio’s 6th District: Democrat Jennifer Garrison
- Michigan’s 1st District: Democrat Jerry Cannon
- Montana’s At-Large District: Democrat John Lewis
- New York’s 23rd District: Democrat Martha Robertson
- Senate in North Carolina: Republican Thom Tillis
- Senate in Alaska: Republican Mead Treadwell
- Senate in South Carolina: Republican Lee Bright
- Senate in Iowa: Republican David Young
- Senate in Kentucky: Republican Matt Bevin
- Illinois’ 12th District: Republican Mike Bost
- Idaho’s 2nd District: Republican Bryan Smith
- Michigan’s 14th District: Democrat Rudy Hobbs
- California’s 45th District: Republican Mimi Walters
- Senate in Iowa: Republican Matt Whitaker
- Senate in Nebraska: Republican Shane Osborn
- Minnesota’s 6th District: Republican Tom Emmer
- Minnesota’s 6th District: Democrat Jim Graves
- Florida’s 2nd District: Democrat Gwen Graham
- Pennsylvania’s 13th District: Democrat Daylin Leach