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House Conservatives Fund Endorses 10

The House Conservatives Fund will announce its first round of endorsements of the 2010 cycle today.

The 10 endorsed candidates will receive $5,000 from the political action committee, according to its honorary chairman, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.).

“We are trying to get conservative Republicans elected who won’t vote for tax increases, who are pro-growth and who are pro-family,” McHenry said.

Candidates who will receive contributions from the PAC are: Stephen Fincher in Tennessee’s 8th district, Sam Caligiuri in Connecticut’s 5th district, Sean Duffy in Wisconsin’s 7th district, Andy Harris in Maryland’s 1st district, Joe Heck in Nevada’s 3rd district, Jim Renacci in Ohio’s 16th district, Martha Roby in Alabama’s 2nd district, Vaughn Ward in Idaho’s 1st district, and former Reps. Steve Chabot (Ohio) and Steve Pearce (N.M.), who are running to reclaim their old seats.

McHenry said he intentionally chose to endorse a geographically diverse group of candidates, nine of whom are vying for seats held by a Democratic incumbent. Fincher is the only endorsed candidate that is running for an open seat. He is seeking to replace retiring Rep. John Tanner (D).

“These people are hardcore conservatives that can win both the primary and the general election,” McHenry said.

The HCF supports incumbents and candidates who are committed to “economic and social principles.” The PAC does not fund races against Republican incumbents.

In order to be considered for a contribution from the HCF, each candidate must fill out a questionnaire and support values consistent with those espoused by the conservative Republican Study Committee. While it is not officially connected to the RSC, the HCF serves as the informal political arm of the House group.

Both Pearce and Chabot were members of the RSC during their tenures in Congress.

Most of the candidates selected for endorsement by the HCF are also considered top-tier candidates by the National Republican Congressional Committee and are members of the committee’s “Young Guns” program.

Then-Rep. Tom Feeney (Fla.) chaired the HCF during the 2008 election cycle, when the PAC gave more than $1 million to 63 candidates and incumbents.

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