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GOP Tees Off Latest CHOMP

A group of Republican House Members will gather tonight for the first CHOMP event of the 2008 cycle.

CHOMP — short for Challengers Helping Obtain the Majority Program — is aimed at helping GOP challengers raise funds to defeat Democratic incumbents.

Tonight’s event at the Capitol Hill Club is expected to raise more than $600,000 for 10 Republican candidates, which rounds out to about $60,000 per challenger. GOP Reps. Jim McCrery (La.), Mike Rogers (Mich.) and Pete Sessions (Texas) are heading up the effort.

The beneficiaries for this cycle’s CHOMP program are: former California Assemblyman Dean Andal, challenging Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.); former Rep. Jeb Bradley (N.H.), challenging Rep. Carol Shea Porter (N.H.), who upset him in 2006; Connecticut state Sen. David Cappiello, challenging Rep. Christopher Murphy (Conn.); former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker John Gard, challenging Rep. Steve Kagen (Wis.); retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard, challenging Rep. Jim Marshall (Ga.); businessman Steve Greenberg, challenging Rep. Melissa Bean (Ill.); former Rep. Melissa Hart (Pa.), seeking a rematch with Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.); Kansas state Sen. Nick Jordan, challenging Rep. Dennis Moore (Kan.); former Rep. Mike Sodrel, in a fourth straight race with Rep. Baron Hill (Ind.); and former Rep. Jim Ryun (Kan.), who is trying to win his old seat back from Rep. Nancy Boyda (Kan.).

Ryun, Bradley, Greenberg and Hart must first win GOP primaries.

This is the third cycle that CHOMP has been in existence, and the first cycle that Republicans have been the minority party in the House. The program raised more than $1.4 million for GOP challengers in the previous cycle.

So far this year, House Republicans’ campaign arm has struggled to keep pace with its Democratic counterpart and faces a significant cash disadvantage a little more than one year removed from the 2008 elections.