Harris one step closer to national GOP blessing
Baltimore County Republican Andy Harris has moved another step closer to gaining the full embrace of his national party's congressional campaign arm for the 2010 election.
The National Republican Campaign Committee announced that Harris had advanced to "‘contender" status, the second part of its three-stage program that culminates with the label of "young gun." The NRCC program is designed to help strengthen the organizational and fundraising operations of Republican candidates in House races for open seats or those held by Democrats.
Harris already has the tacit support of the NRCC in his bid for a rematch against Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil in Maryland's first district, which takes in the entire Eastern Shore and parts of several Western Shore counties.
Harris is giving up his state Senate seat to run again for Congress. He is the leading Republican contender in the district, although fellow state Sen. E. J. Pipkin has not ruled out another primary run.
"Andy Harris has already proven that he will be a formidable candidate by meeting the rigorous goals laid out by the Young Guns program and putting in place the pieces for a winning campaign,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions, a congressman from Texas. “Dr. Harris is part of a strong and growing candidate pool that is further proof that Republicans are ready to play offense over the course of this election cycle. His campaign is one of many putting Democrats on notice that their reckless big-government policies will not go unchallenged at the polls. Andy Harris has proven once again that he is ready to hold this Democrat majority accountable for their runaway spending sprees and put our country back on the right track.”