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GOP Announces Female Candidate Recruitment Program

With a stagnant number of women in its caucus, the House GOP’s campaign organization announced a new program Friday, Project Grow, to recruit, mentor and elect more female candidates in 2014.

“We need more women to run,” Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said. “Project Grow will plant that seed that will get them thinking of doing it.”

CQ Roll Call reported earlier this week that the National Republican Congressional Committee was in the early stages of formalizing a female candidate recruitment program for the upcoming midterm cycle. The NRCC’s announcement was part of a joint event with six GOP committees that are making an new organized effort to help female candidates.

The “Women on the Right UNITE” effort is run by the Republican National Committee, NRCC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Republican State Leadership Committee, College Republican National Committee and Republican Governors Association. The goal is to help female candidates ascend to all levels of government.

The event provided some details about the recruitment program, including providing training on using digital tools to better relay messages to women voters and potential candidates, polling and fundraising support, as well as mentoring from many of the 19 women in the House GOP caucus.

“We recognize that America needs more women involved in political leadership; to show our commitment as a party to developing better relationships with women voters,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus at the event.

The increased focus on recruiting more Republican women to run for office comes a cycle after Democrats dominated the GOP among female voters. Democrats capitalized on controversial comments about abortion from former Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and other GOP candidates to attack Republicans as insensitive to women.

Republicans at the event said that the party needs to counteract that message with its own that shows how GOP policies can benefit women in America.

“Women are the majority, and we need to do a better job, and that’s what this is all about,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., said of Project Grow at the event.

Corrected 6:30 p.m. | An earlier version of this article misidentified the Republican State Leadership Committee.

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