NRCC Adds Six Candidates to Young Guns Level

Posted August 31, 2010 at 11:06am

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced on Tuesday the promotion of six new candidates to the top tier of its Young Guns recruitment and organization program.

The latest additions are Sandy Adams, running in Florida’s 24th district; Dan Benishek, running in Michigan’s 1st district; Chris Gibson, running in New York’s 20th district; Mike Kelly, running in Pennsylvania’s 3rd district; Steve Southerland, running in Florida’s 2nd district; and Daniel Webster, running in Florida’s 8th district. With the exception of Benishek, all of the candidates are challenging vulnerable Democratic incumbents this fall.

“The latest Young Guns class is a testament to the strength of our candidates this year,” House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said.

“Fifty-two candidates have earned Young Gun status, which is more than enough seats needed to take back the majority,” added Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), who heads candidate recruitment for the NRCC.

Adams, Southerland and Webster all emerged from primaries last week in Florida, where the GOP hopes to pick up three seats in November. Southerland is challenging Rep. Allen Boyd (D) in the Tallahassee-based 2nd district on the Florida panhandle, where Boyd has won convincingly for seven terms despite the Republican lean of the district.

Adams and Webster are taking on Orlando-area freshman Reps. Suzanne Kosmas and Alan Grayson.

Kelly is challenging freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D), who knocked off then-Rep. Phil English (R) by 2 points in 2008. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) edged President Barack Obama by 17 votes in the Northwestern Pennsylvania district.

Benishek is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Bart Stupak (D). Gibson is challenging Rep. Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.), who won a special election last year.