Brian Nestande enters party’s ‘Young Guns’ program

November 21st, 2013 | by Erica Felci | Comments

Just days after the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee told reporters that Assemblyman Brian Nestande needed to “step up his fundraising,” the party has stepped in to help.

nestande at kickoffNestande, a Palm Desert Republican, today was added to the first step of the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program.

The move means Nestande joins 35 other challengers as being “on the radar.”

Both the Republicans and the Democrats have fundraising programs to help the candidates in the most competitive seats raise money. However, candidates must show they are meeting key benchmarks in order to keep getting their party’s help.

“I am confident that Brian Nestande will be a successful and dedicated member of this program and that he will continue to work hard to reach the crucial campaign benchmarks that have been established ahead of the 2014 elections,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement today.

“Brian’s conservative principles and priorities provide a stark contrast to Barack Obama’s irresponsible agenda. California’s hardworking families deserve better than skyrocketing health care costs, financial instability and mountains of debt on the backs of their families. I am certain that Brian Nestande will be a strong contender this election cycle.”

Walden on Friday had told reporters that he wasn’t sure what the NRCC’s involvement would be in the race for the 36th Congressional seat.

“I think there’s still a good opportunity there. He needs to step up his fundraising,” Walden said last week. “We’ve communicated that to him.”

Nestande is trying to unseat Rep. Raul Ruiz, a Palm Desert Democrat who benefited from his party’s “Red to Blue” program in the 2012 election.

Ruiz is now a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Frontline” program for targeted incumbents.

Federal campaign records show Ruiz raised more than $1.1 million between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 and had almost $876,000 in cash on hand. Nestande raised $221,731 and had $150,585 in the bank.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. 

It didn’t take long for the DCCC to respond, issuing  a statement that said “Republicans in Congress Heart Brian Nestande.”

“It’s no wonder that Brian Nestande is being rewarded by Republicans in Congress – he has the same reckless and irresponsible ideology that led to the first government shutdown in 17 years,” DCCC’s Emily Bittner said in the statement.

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