By Jerry Cornfield
Washington’s 1st Congressional District is getting a little national attention.
On Monday, the New York Times had this story on the unique nature of the district which runs from the Canadian border south to Medina.
Today, Republican congressional candidate John Koster learned he has reached the top tier of the “Young Guns” program of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
What it exactly means isn’t known yet.
He’d certainly appreciate it if it opens the door to financial support from the party organization and encourages outside groups to spend money to help him defeat Democrat Suzan DelBene for the seat in Congress.
But Koster, 61, achieved the same Young Guns status in 2010 when he ran against U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., and it did not bring in any such aid.
“John Koster has met a series of rigorous goals that will put him in position to win on Election Day,” NRCC Chairman Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said in a press release. “The momentum behind his campaign is proof-positive that Washington families are fed up with Democrat’s policies that hurt small businesses. Koster is leading the pack as Republicans continue to send a loud and clear message that we will hold Democrats accountable for their unpopular partisan agenda.”
Sessions said Koster had met organizational and fundraising benchmarks though the release did not reveal how much the candidate had raised since the August primary. Larry Stickney, Koster’s campaign manager, also declined. The information will be made public by the Federal Elections Commission on Monday.
Young Guns was founded in the 2007-2008 election cycle by the GOP nominee for vice-president, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wi., along with Reps. Eric Cantor R-Va., and Kevin McCarthy, R-CA. Its goal is to identify, recruit, and mobilize “a new generation of conservative leaders.”
There are four tiers of support – On the Radar then Contenders, Young Guns Vanguard and finally Young Guns. Koster had been listed as a contender until today.
DelBene has said Koster is too conservative for the district and this makes that point, said a spokesman for her campaign.
“This is another clear example of how closely aligned John Koster is to the national Republican and tea party leaders like Paul Ryan and Todd Akin,” said campaign spokesman Viet Shelton.