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GOPAC Announces 2015 Advisory Board

Ernst, above, is running against Bruce Braley for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Ernst, above, is running against Bruce Braley for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOPAC, an organization that grooms Republican state lawmakers to run for higher office, will announce its 2015 Legislative Leaders Advisory Board Monday, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

The board pinpoints promising state legislators for GOPAC’s Emerging Leaders Program, which seeks to foster a bench of talent to eventually run for federal and statewide elected office. Previous members of the Emerging Leaders Program include now-Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Cory Gardner of Colorado. Both Republicans won targeted Senate races in 2014.  

“The members of our 2015 Legislative Leaders Advisory Board will have an important role in educating and electing a new generation of Republican leaders,” said GOPAC Chairman David Avella, who was promoted to that role following the November midterms.  

At least a few of the members on the board in 2015 could be future House or Senate candidates. For example, Republicans have mentioned state Sen. Bryce Reeves as a possible Senate candidate in Virginia in 2018. Republicans also say another board member, state Rep. Melissa Melendez, could look at California’s newly open Senate seat in 2016.

The full list of 2015 board members is below:

State Senate Members

  • Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey
  • West Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Cole
  • Georgia state Sen. David Shafer
  • Ohio state Sen. Keith Faber
  • Indiana state Sen. Brandt Hershman
  • Kentucky state Sen. Damon Thayer
  • Maine state Sen. Garrett Mason
  • Virginia state Sen. Bryce Reeves
  • Utah state Sen. Deidre Henderson
  • Wisconsin state Sen. Chair Leah Vukmir
  • New Hampshire state Sen. Andy Sanborn
  • Texas state Sen. Charles Schwertner
  • New York state Sen. Catharine Young
  • Oklahoma state Sen. David Holt

State House/Assembly Members:

  • Arizona state Speaker David Gowan
  • North Carolina state Speaker Tim Moore
  • Mississippi state Speaker Philip Gunn
  • Michigan state Rep. Tom Leonard
  • Wisconsin state Rep. Tyler August
  • Florida House Majority Leader Rep. Dana Young
  • Nevada House Majority Leader Paul Anderson
  • Ohio state Rep. Barbara Sears
  • South Carolina House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister
  • Pennsylvania state Rep. Donna Oberlander
  • Alabama state Rep. Jack Williams
  • California state Rep. Melissa Melendez

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