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NRCC Unveils Last Additions to Young Guns Program

Updated: 12:11 p.m.

The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce its seventh and final round of major additions to its Young Guns list on Thursday by adding nine names to its marquee candidate program.

The additions bring the total number of Young Guns this cycle to 87, demonstrating just how wide a playing field House Republicans are hoping to play on in what has turned out to be a very good political environment for the GOP. An NRCC official noted that the committee could add additional candidates to the program on a case by case basis between now and Election Day.

Thursday’s additions include Matt Doheny, the GOP nominee in New York’s 23rd district, which has been on GOP target lists ever since they lost the district in a special election last fall. It also includes Tim Burns in Pennsylvania’s 12th district, who was defeated in a special election in May after heavy spending in the district by both national parties.

But most of the new additions hail from seats that are expected to be reaches for House Republicans this cycle. Most aren’t likely to fall unless a large GOP wave develops on Election Day.

They include Dan Debicella in Connecticut’s 4th district, Sam Caligiuri in Connecticut’s 5th district, Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Iowa’s 2nd district, Steven Palazzo in Mississippi’s 4th district, Rob Cornilles in Oregon’s 1st district, Keith Rothfus in Pennsylvania’s 4th district and Scott DesJarlais in Tennessee’s 4th district.

The Young Guns system ranks candidates in three levels: On the Radar, Contender and Young Guns. Candidates are named to the program by meeting individualized benchmarks set by the committee, which include developing grass-roots support, fundraising and creating a media plan.

Being named a Young Gun qualifies a candidate for the highest level of support from the committee, although not every Young Gun has received the most coveted prize: television advertising buys in their districts. The NRCC has reserved television airtime in 55 districts so far and run ads in 31 of those.

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