WASHINGTON - Four Republican congressional candidates were promoted to "contender" level in the National Republican Congressional Committee's (NRCC) "Young Guns" program Wednesday:
- Bob Dold (IL-10)
- Darlene Senger (IL-11)
- Mike Bost (IL-13)
- Bobby Schilling (IL-17)
"Contender" is the second level of the Young Guns program. According to the NRCC, "Contender" candidates have "completed stringent program metrics and are on the path to developing a mature and competitive campaign operation." All four Illinois candidates are considered to be in congressional seats that appear favorable to the GOP.
These impressive Republican candidates that have reached the ‘Contender’ status are exemplary of the new leadership needed in Washington D.C. to turn our country around and provide a check and balance in Washington,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden.
Originally founded in the 2007-2008 election cycle by Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Young Guns program supports and mentors challenger and open-seat candidates in races across the country. Officially an NRCC effort for the past 2 election cycles, the program requires its candidates to work towards specific goals and meet benchmarks throughout the year to ensure their continued participation in the program. In the 2012 election cycle, the program helped to elect 35 new Republican Members to the 113th Congress.