DES MOINES, Iowa – The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) elevated State Rep. Ashley Hinson and former U.S. Rep. David Young to “Young Gun” status on Wednesday. 

Young Guns is a congressional candidate recruitment program targeting the most competitive races led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and run by the NRCC. The program launched during the 2008 election cycle. The program “identifies candidates across the country who embody the principles of the House Republican Conference and show promise of running a successful campaign.”

“We are proud to promote such a diverse group of candidates to the final phase of the Young Guns program,” McCarthy said. “As we move closer to Election Day, these candidates have shown they stand in stark contrast to their Democratic opponents and have the structure in place to come out victorious in November.”

According to the NRCC Young Guns’ website, “Young Guns is broken into three levels containing measurable goals that a candidate must achieve to advance in the program. Candidates who achieve Young Gun status have successfully collaborated with the NRCC and completed the benchmarks that establish a path to victory on Election Day.”

Nationally, 23 candidates have achieved “Young Gun” status. Typically, the program includes only candidates with Republican establishment backing who run for an open seat or against a Democratic incumbent in a swing district.

Hinson, who is a Republican candidate in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, said, “I’m honored to have the National Republican Congressional Committee’s full support. I look forward to working with them to defeat Congresswoman Finkenauer in November. We need to make Speaker Pelosi the former Speaker of the House, and the road to a Republican majority runs directly through Iowa’s First District.”

She represents Iowa House District 67, which covers Hiawatha, Robins, Cedar Rapids, and Marion, in the Iowa House of Representatives. She first won in 2016, but then won re-election in 2018 in the swing district winning nine out of 13 precincts despited Democrats targeting and outspending Republicans in that race. Before serving in the Iowa House, Hinson was an award-winning reporter and anchor for KCRG-TV9 in Cedar Rapids. She currently lives in Marion with her husband, Matt, and their two sons.

Young, who is a Republican candidate in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, said, “I am proud to have my campaign’s hard work recognized with our elevation to ‘Young Gun’ status. Because of the hard work of our supporters, volunteers, and donors, we are on the path to victory in November and returning the voice of Iowa’s Third District to Congress.”

He was elected to serve Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 and reelected in 2016. He lost re-election in 2018 to U.S. Rep. Cindy Anxe, D-Iowa. Young served on the influential Committee on Appropriations. Before his service in Congress, Young served Iowans as U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley’s Chief of Staff from 2006-2013.   

State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Ottumwa, is in the Young Gun program as well, but is currently in the second-tier status called “Contenders.

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