NRCC adds 33 to candidate program

The National Republican Congressional Committee Wednesday added 33 Republican candidates to its “On the Radar” and “Contender” lists.

Those are levels one and two of the committee’s “Young Guns” program — a status which signals a high level of attention from the national party.

Reaching “Contender” status are 14 candidates including Jon Runyan (N.J.), who’s challenging Rep. John Adler (D), and John Koster (Wash.) who’s challenging Rep. Rick Larson (D).

The candidates making the NRCC’s “On the Radar” list include Hunt Downer (La.) and Jeff Landry (La.), both running for the seat left open by Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), and Tim Burns (Pa.), who lost a special election in May to fill the seat of the late Rep. John Murtha (D).

While many of the additions are currently outside shots to win this fall, the argument from the NRCC is that the playing field is rapidly expanding.

“These candidates have worked hard to meet the benchmarks set to place them on the road to victory,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) in a statement. “With voters frustrated with an out-of-touch Democrat majority, these candidates are willing to take the necessary steps to achieve our goal of retiring Nancy Pelosi and winning and building a lasting Republican majority.”

Below is a full list of the candidates elevated by the committee.

On the Radar: Dee Adcock(Pa.-13), Jason Allen (Mich.-01), Dan Benishek (Mich.-01), Susan Bitter Smith (Ariz.-05), Tim Burns (Pa.-12), Donna Campbell (Texas-25), Peter Corrigan (Ohio-10), Hunt Downer (La.-03), John Gomez (N.Y.-02), Rich Iott (Ohio-09), Bill Johnson (Ohio-06), Jeff Landry (La.-03), Ben Lange (Iowa-01), Delia Lopez(Ore.-03), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa-02), Star Parker (Calif.-37), Keith Rothfus (Pa.-04), Frank Scaturro (N.Y.-04) and Brad Zaun (Iowa-03).

Contender: Charlie Bass (N.H.-02), Francisco Canseco (Texas-23), Dan Debicella (Conn.-04), Randy Demmer (Minn.-01), Chris Gibson (N.Y.-20), Jaime Herrera (Wash.-03), Dan Kapanke (Wis.-03), Mike Kelly (Pa.-03), John Koster (Wash.-02), Michele Rollins (Del.-At Large), Jon Runyan (N.J.-03), Bobby Schilling (Ill.-17), Scott Sipprelle (N.J.-12) and Steve Southerland (Fla.-02).

--Updated at 4:20 p.m.

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