NRCC names 11 new 'Young Guns'

The National Republican Congressional Committee has moved 11 more candidates to “Young Guns” status, a designation for top-performing candidates.

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The 11 have reached the final tier of a three-tier training and development program meant to groom strong GOP House candidates. It’s the second round of “Young Gun” candidates the committee has announced, bringing the total number to hit that top-tier designation to 21.

“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) in a statement. "Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama administration. These 11 candidates will fight to stop the harmful consequences of ObamaCare, grow the economy, and get Washington’s spending under control.”

Many of the new crop of Young Guns are in top-targeted races and just made it through tough primary fights, like Tom MacArthur, the newly-minted GOP nominee for retiring Rep. Jon Runyan’s (R-N.J.) seat. Other candidates in that same vein include Rick Allen, challenging Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.); Doug Ose, running against Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) and Carl DeMaio, challenging Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.).

The committee also named Brian Nestande, challenging Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.); Dan Logue, challenging Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.); Jeff Gorell, challenging Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.); Darlene Senger, running against Illinois Democratic Rep. Bill Foster; former Rep. Bobby Schilling, challenging Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.); and Pedro Celis, challenging Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.). All but Ruiz, Brownley and Bustos are largely considered safe at this point in the cycle.

The NRCC also notably gave a nod to Alex Mooney, the conservative pick for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-W.Va.) seat, who defeated the establishment choice in his primary and has been considered by Republicans a possibly weaker candidate in the general election against former West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey.