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Young Guns Coming to Town, Van Hollen Hits the Road

While Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) has been on the road over the past few days, the National Republican Congressional Committee is planning a coming-out party on Capitol Hill next week for its top recruits of the 2010 cycle.

The 10 GOP recruits who have achieved the highest rank in the NRCC’s “Young Guns” campaign program will be formally introduced to House Republicans at their regular meeting Wednesday.

If they haven’t done so already, the sitting Members of the House will be encouraged to cut checks to the campaign accounts of the visiting candidates. The NRCC also will be holding an event with D.C. media for the 10 recruits.

The Young Guns program was originally created by House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and Reps. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Paul Ryan (Wis.) during the 2008 cycle. Last year, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) adopted it as one of the NRCC’s marquee candidate-development tools.

Last week, the NRCC announced the first 10 candidates who had reached the highest level of the three-tiered program. They are: Martha Roby in Alabama’s 2nd district, Tim Griffin in Arkansas 2nd district, Dennis Ross in Florida’s 12th district, Allen West in Florida’s 22nd district, Vaughn Ward in Idaho’s 1st district, Andy Harris in Maryland’s 1st district, Steve Pearce in New Mexico’s 2nd district, Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st district, Steve Stivers in Ohio’s 15th district and Pat Meehan in Pennsylvania’s 7th district. Pearce and Chabot are ex-House Members trying to win their old seats back.

Meanwhile, Van Hollen has been on the road raising money for endangered incumbents and promising challengers. Van Hollen made a stop this week for freshman Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), followed by a visit to California for Ami Bera, Bill Hedrick and Steve Pougnet, who are running against GOP Reps. Dan Lungren, Ken Calvert and Mary Bono Mack, respectively.

The Maryland Democrat was scheduled to be in Seattle on Thursday to help the campaign of former Microsoft Executive Suzan DelBene, who is challenging Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.). On Friday, Van Hollen is scheduled to be in Illinois to help marketing consultant Dan Seals, who was also his party’s nominee in 2006 and 2008 in the 10th district, plus Reps. Debbie Halvorson and Bill Foster.

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