Nation: NRCC Hosts School for Candidates This Week

Posted July 13, 2009 at 6:32pm

The National Republican Congressional Committee is holding its “candidate school— seminar this week, and several potential GOP candidates who have yet to officially announce their campaigns this cycle are expected to attend.

A few expected Republican attendees include: businessman Daniel Swisher, who is contemplating challenging Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.); Wisconsin state Sen. Dan Kapanke, who is thinking about launching a bid against Rep. Ron Kind (D); and businessman Keith Fimian, who has openly contemplated another run against Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) next year.

The three-day event is intended to help potential candidates learn the ropes of running a campaign. Attendees will hear from NRCC officials and GOP leaders, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), and Republican consultants.

Interestingly, two Republicans from Virginia’s 2nd district were expected to attend the candidate school forum, which began on Monday and includes events today and Wednesday. Car dealership owner Scott Rigell, who announced last week that he will challenge freshman Rep. Glenn Nye (D), is attending candidate school, according to his campaign. But also expected to attend is Bert Mizusawa, an Army Reserve brigadier general whose name has also been floated in the battleground district.

Other notable Republicans who were expected to attend are Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel, who is running against Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D) in Florida’s 24th district, and state Rep. Nickie Monica, who has expressed an interest in running for the seat held by Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.). Mississippi state Sen. Alan Nunnelee, who is expected to run against Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.), was in attendance Monday.

But not everyone who attends candidate school is expected to run in 2010.

Ted Van Der Meid, who was former Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) chief counsel, is in attendance, but Van Der Meid said Monday afternoon that he’s not running for Congress anytime soon.

“I haven’t even moved back home— to New York’s 29th district yet, he pointed out.

But Van Der Meid said a Congressional run might be in the cards “sometime down the road,— and that’s why he’s attending candidate school this week.