National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden on Monday unveiled the first round of House GOP candidates elevated to "Young Gun" status.
The NRCC's Young Guns program is the highest designation for recruits in either open-seat races or in districts where the GOP is on offense. The program allows the party to communicate to donors and the political world who are the most organized recruits of the cycle.
Candidates earn this status by demonstrating "their ability to build a formidable campaign structure and achieve important goals and benchmarks," according to a news release.
“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in a position to win on Election Day,” Walden said in a statement. "Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama Administration."
The new Young Guns are:
- Retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally, who is challenging Rep. Ron Barber for Arizona's 2nd District.
- Miami Dade County School Board member Carlos Curbelo, who is challenging Rep. Joe Garcia for Florida's 26th District.
- Former Rep. Bob Dold, who is challenging Rep. Brad Schneider for Illinois' 10th District.
- State Rep. Mike Bost, who is challenging Rep. Bill Enyart in Illinois' 12th District.
- Former state Sen. Richard Tisei, who is challenging Rep. John Tierney for Massachusetts' 6th District.
- State Sen. Torrey Westrom, who is challenging Rep. Collin C. Peterson for Minnesota's 7th District.
- Businessman Stewart Mills, who is challenging Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota's 8th District.
- Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello, who is running to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach for Pennsylvania's 6th District.
- Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock, who is running to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Frank Wolf for Virginia's 10th District.
- State Sen. Evan Jenkins, who is challenging Rep. Nick J. Rahall II for West Virginia's 3rd District.