NRCC picks 11 more 'Young Guns'

The National Republican Congressional Committee has named 11 more candidates to "Young Guns" status, the top designation in its three-level recruitment program.

The GOP hopefuls are the third round of candidates to receive the designation in the training program designed to provide support to challenger and open-seat candidates nationwide. The NRCC's announcement brings the total number of Young Guns candidates to 32. 

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"Candidates that reach 'Young Gun' status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day," NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said 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." 

Included in the list of new Young Guns are two former political aides facing competitive open-seat challenges. The NRCC gave a nod to Elise Stefanik, a former White House aide vying for Rep. Bill Owens's (D-N.Y.) open seat, and David Young, a former Capitol Hill aide chosen in the GOP nominating convention to face state Sen. Staci Appel in the contest for Rep. Tom Latham's (R-Iowa) seat. Both Owens and Latham are retiring at the end of the year. 

The committee recognized four other open-seat candidates: French Hill, vying for Rep. Tim GriffinTim GriffinTea Party class reassesses record Huckabee's daughter to run '16 campaign Lawmakers seek Purple Heart for victims of Little Rock shooting MORE's (R-Ark.) seat; Bruce Westerman, running for Rep. Tom CottonTom CottonSenators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Dems to GOP: Cancel Memorial Day break GOP senator: Reid's 'ramblings' are 'bitter, vulgar, incoherent' MORE's (R-Ark.) seat; Ryan Zinke, seeking Rep. Steve Daines's (R-Mont.) seat; and Rod Blum, pursuing Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce BraleyGOP group enlists public with opposition research app 10 rising stars in the energy and environment world DC delegate plans to confront GOP lawmaker calling for Washington recession MORE's (D-Iowa) seat. Cotton, Daines and Braley are all seeking Senate seats, while Griffin is running for lieutenant governor. 

Also achieving Young Guns status are Mariannette Miller-Meeks, challenging Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa); Lee Zeldin, challenging Rep. Tim BishopTim BishopFlint residents hire first K Street firm House moves to vote on .1T package; backup plan in place GOP wants accountability, innovation from accreditation – at least right now MORE (D-N.Y.); former Rep. Nan Hayworth, running in a rematch against Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.); John Katko, challenging Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.); and Will Hurd, facing Rep. Pete GallegoPete P. GallegoTexas Dem seeks 2016 rematch for House Former Texas rep. eyes comeback Immigration action jolts '16 races MORE (D-Texas). All of these races are considered to lean toward Democratic candidate.

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