The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) publishes a list of candidates it considers top contenders, or "Young Guns." Raul Labrador was not among those listed last week now but he says that he opted out of the program earlier this year, though he has still met some of the guidelines of the program.
Labrador said that he didn't want to be part of the group, but didn't specify a reason for his choice not to join. "I've still met with them and still met their financial goals," Labrador said. He added that he works with somebody from the NRCC on an almost weekly basis. The NRCC dubbed 33 Republicans "Young Guns" Wednesday as part of its candidate training and recruitment program.
His absence from the list was likely more noticeable because the man he defeated in the Republican primary election, Vaughn Ward, had the backing of the NRCC and was one of the group's "Young Guns." Andrew Stone, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Committee, said in a prepared statement published in The Hill, “After the NRCC got burned by investing heavily in serial plagiarist Vaughn Ward while Congressman Minnick worked hard in his district and tallied up a cash advantage of 16 to one over Raul Labrador, it’s looking more and more like this district is falling off the NRCC’s radar.”
Minnick has a large lead in the money race; he reported having more than $1.1 million in the bank as of June 30 compared to $69,000 for Labrador. An internal poll released by the Labrador campaign late last week showed the Republican trailing Minnick by 10 percentage points, though a good share of those polled said they haven't yet made a choice in the contest. The two men face off in November's general election.
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