The National Republican Congressional Committee elevated 33 more GOP congressional candidates to its “Young Guns” program today, but Idaho GOP challenger Raul Labrador wasn’t on the list. The Hill newspaper reported today that 14 candidates made the “Contender” level, and 19 were named to the “On the Radar” list. In February, Idaho 1st District congressional candidate Vaughn Ward was named to the top tier of the program, “Young Gun” status; Labrador then defeated him in Idaho’s May GOP primary. The NRCC describes the “Young Guns” program as “the candidate recruitment and training program for House Republicans” and says it’s “designed to assist Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives build a foundation for victory.”
The Hill reported that Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Andrew Stone said in a statement, “After the NRCC got burned by investing heavily in serial plagiarist Vaughn Ward while Congressman Minnick worked hard in his district and tallied up a cash advantage of 16 to one over Raul Labrador, it’s looking more and more like this district is falling off the NRCC’s radar.” An NRCC spokeswoman, however, told the newspaper that the group believes incumbent Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick faces a tough challenge from Labrador.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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