DENVER, CO — The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) announced today that Eric Weissmann, a Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, has advanced to “On The Radar” status in its “Young Guns” program.
Weissmann is running for the GOP nomination against state Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) to take on incumbent Congressman Jared Polis (D-Boulder).
“It is a testament to the organizational and fundraising momentum we have achieved in this race and shows that national Republicans are coming to the realization that Jared Polis is very flawed incumbent in a competitive seat,” said Weissmann. “Not only must Congressman Polis answer for his unpopular budget busting, job-killing, and government-growing policies, but he must also take responsibility for his corrupt personal biotech and health care investments based on insider information as a member of Congress.”
An NRCC spokesman said that it is common for candidates in primaries to be listed on the Young Guns program and that Weissmann’s status in the program is not meant to be seen as an endorsement by the NRCC.
Senator Lundberg said he has not enrolled in the Young Guns program and that the approval of Republican voters is more important to him.
“My focus is on earning the approval of the people in the district,” said Lundberg. “The Republican Assembly for Colorado’s Second Congressional District gave me an 80% vote of approval. My next goal is the approval of the Republican voters in the district in the June 26 primary election.”
The “On the Radar” status is the first step in a process that can end with a candidate being named a “Young Gun” which allows their campaign to receive NRCC support in the general election.
“We are looking forward to working with Eric Weissmann, who has already proven himself by meeting rigorous benchmarks in the ‘Young Guns’ program that will position his campaign for victory,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) in a press release. “Eric Weissmann’s dedication and experience enables him to advocate effectively for pro-growth policies and fight the failed status quo in Washington. This will stand in stark contrast to the Obama-Pelosi record of spending, borrowing and taxing that Colorado families and small businesses know has failed.”
Both the NRCC and its Democratic counterpart for Congressional elections, the DCCC, have programs that support targeted races around the country. The NRCC’s Young Guns program, begun during the 2007-8 election cycle, exists to support challenger and open-seat candidates who have meet key internal organizational and fundraising benchmarks.
Democratic Congressional candidate Joe Miklosi, challenging incumbent GOP Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), recently attained a similar benchmark, with his campaign reaching “Red-to-Blue” status in the DCCC’s candidate program.
In the first fundraising quarter, Weissmann reported raising $138,000 since entering the race in early February, including an approximately $30,000 donation to himself.
Weissmann has said previously that he primarily plans on self-funding his race, though he doesn’t plan on trying to match Congressman Polis, who is one of the wealthiest Members of Congress and has contributed over $7 million of his own money to his Congressional campaigns.
The Republican nominee will be decided in the June 26 primary.
Check out The Observer‘s analysis on the CD2 primary here.