7 Congressional Candidates Announced as ‘Contender’ as Part of NRCC’s ‘Young Guns’ Program

April 17, 2014

‘Contender’ is the Second Level of the NRCC’s ‘Young Guns’ Program

WASHINGTON – Today, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced its second round of ‘Contender’ candidates ahead of the 2014 elections. ‘Contender’ is the second level of the Committee’s ‘Young Guns’ program, which helps to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democrat opponents.

“Americans believe strongly that the country is on the wrong track because of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s failed policies, like ObamaCare.  These impressive Republican candidates that have reached the ‘Contender’ status are exemplary of the new leadership needed in Washington D.C. to turn our country around and provide a check and balance in Washington,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR).  “I am confident that these candidates will continue to work hard for their communities and bring sound, conservative principles to Congress.”

Originally founded in the 2007-2008 election cycle by Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Young Guns program supports and mentors challenger and open-seat candidates in races across the country. Officially an NRCC effort for the past 2 election cycles, the program requires its candidates to work towards specific goals and meet benchmarks throughout the year to ensure their continued participation in the program. In the 2012 election cycle, the program helped to elect 35 new Republican Members to the 113th Congress.

Contender is the second level of the Young Guns program. Contender candidates have completed stringent program metrics and are on the path to developing a mature and competitive campaign operation.  They are in congressional seats that appear favorable to the GOP candidate.

‘Contender’ candidates:

  • Lee Zeldin (NY-01)
  • Carlos Curbelo (FL-26)
  • Ryan Costello (PA-06)
  • Torrey Westrom (MN-07)
  • Pedro Celis (WA-01)
  • Jeff Gorell (CA-26)
  • Dan Debicella (CT-04)

Click here for more information about the program and the candidates.