Fimian advances in GOP candidate program

June 30, 2010

The National Republican Congressional Committee has promoted Keith Fimian to the top tier of its candidate training program, lending the Oakton businessman a vote of confidence in his race to unseat freshman Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) in Virginia’s 11th district.

Fimian is now a “Young Gun” in the NRCC’s program, an indication that his campaign has hit certain targets for fundraising and other organizational indicators. Fimian had previously been a “Contender” — the second of three levels — while the man he beat in the June 8 GOP primary, Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity, was at the lower-level “On the Radar.”

“Keith Fimian has proven that he is ready to put this seat back in the Republican column,” NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said in a release announcing the move. “Keith’s campaign is a symbol of the growing momentum behind Republican candidacies both in Virginia and across the country.”

Fimian’s advancement in the program is largely symbolic, as it was obvious he would have the NRCC’s backing after he won the Republican primary. His promotion does send a signal that House GOP leaders consider his campaign viable and his race competitive, and donations from Republican lawmakers and other sympathetic donors may increase as a result.

But not everyone agrees that this race is really that competitive. The nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report does not include the 11th district contest among its 79 House “races in play.” The Cook Political Report rates the contest as “Lean” Democratic.

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