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Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean. (Photo by Nikita Biryukov)

Kean, Pallotta make NRCC’s Young Guns list

Congressional candidates on national Republicans’ radar

By Nikita Biryukov, August 16 2019 1:19 pm

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean and former investment banker Frank Pallotta have made it onto the radar of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program.

“In stark contrast, Americans’ priorities are Republican priorities. This is why we are recruiting the best to compete in 2020 and I am proud to welcome each of these candidates to the Young Guns program,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. “I remain focused on ensuring they have the resources they need to win, and I look forward to seeing them on the campaign trail over the next 14 months.”

The Young Guns program is aims to back candidates in Democrat-controlled districts by providing mentorship and support for their campaigns, though being added to the program’s radar doesn’t guarantee support.

In either case, the NRCC isn’t offering financial support for contested primaries.

“We are thrilled to announce that our campaign has been tapped by the NRCC to be a part of its Young Guns ‘On the Radar’ program,” Pallotta said. “This is a significant step towards defeating Josh Gottheimer and the radical liberal policies he fails to take a stand against. We congratulate our friend Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. on being named, as well.”

Pallotta will face former Cresskill Councilman John McCann, Montvale Mayor Michael Ghassali in his bid to win the Republican nod to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who is facing his own primary challenge from Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich.

Kean, aiming to take out Rep. Tom Malinowski, faces former U.S. Senate staffer Rosemary Becchi in his primary.

McCarthy has already endorsed Kean.

The two candidates will have to meet organizational and financial benchmarks to move up through the Young Guns program, though it’s not clear what exactly is required.

“It’s clear the 2020 election will be a choice between two futures: a future of more freedom or government control,” McCarthy said. “The new socialist Democrats are embracing policies that are in direct conflict with the needs and priorities of the American people: more taxes, more spending, more government, and less freedom. Simply put, this is theft.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated with comment from Pallotta at 1:40 p.m.

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