By Aaron Blake - 09/19/07 07:25 PM EDT
Three former members of Congress are among the nine Republican candidates who will benefit next month from the House GOP’s first Challengers Helping Obtain the Majority Program (CHOMP) fundraiser of the cycle.
Former Reps. Jeb Bradley (N.H.), Melissa Hart (Pa.) and Jim Ryun (Kan.) join three challengers to perennial GOP targets and three challengers taking on freshman Democrats in the first batch of top-tier candidates to get fundraising help from the Republican Conference.
Bradley, Hart and Ryun face Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) and Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.), respectively.
The event, which is set for Oct. 24 at the Capitol Hill Club, has raised between $75,000 and $100,000 per candidate in the past and is expected to raise a similar amount this time. A letter distributed to House GOPers on Tuesday asks them to contribute $2,000 from their campaign committees and $5,000 from their leadership PACs to each of the nine candidates.
“It is crucial that we start on the offensive this fall instead of playing catch-up next spring,” the letter states.
CHOMP was founded last cycle by Reps. Pete Sessions (Texas) and Mike Rogers (Mich.) as a spin-off of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s (Texas) Retain Our Majority Program (ROMP).
With the party now out of the majority, though, the acronym has changed slightly from the Challengers Helping Our Majority Program. Other offshoots include a program for freshmen (FROMP).
Rep. Jim McCrery (La.) is co-chairing the event with Sessions and Rogers.
The flyer accompanying the letter notes that two of the candidates, Ryun and Bradley, face primary challenges next year before they can take on the Democrats. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) does not endorse in primaries, but the event is run by members, not the committee.
Other candidates on the list, including Goddard and Greenberg, also could face primaries.
Jordan is an interesting inclusion, as GOPers have been unable to field strong challenges to the long-targeted Moore the last two cycles. With two of the nine candidates from Kansas, the GOP is signaling a desire to make the state a battleground.
Gard and the three former members all lost their races last year.
“The candidates selected for the first round of the CHOMP effort are all running strong campaigns and have excellent chances of winning in some of our high-priority districts,” NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said.