A pair of Republicans running for Congress in Northeast Pennsylvania are now “on the radar” for the National Republican Congressional Committee’s 2020 “Young Guns program.”
Jim Bognet, a former Trump administration appointee, and Earl Granville, a decorated combat veteran and veterans’ advocate, who are both seeking the Republican nomination in the 8th Congressional District were added in the NRCC’s latest round of selections for the program aimed at mentoring and supporting Republican candidates with resources to help run a successful campaign.
Bognet’s “Young Gun” bio page, touts his work in Trump’s administration, says that he has fought for “conservative causes and Republican principles his whole life,” while describing Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) as Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “lap dog.” Granville’s “Young Gun” bio page, details his military service, support for the “America First” agenda and term limits, while accusing Cartwright of “simply following orders from Nancy Pelosi.”
Bognet and Granville are included in the 55 candidates currently listed as “on the radar” for the program and the lone Pennsylvania candidates in this specific category. However, Sean Parnell, a combat veteran and conservative author who is seeking the GOP nomination for the 17th Congressional District, and Lisa Scheller, a former Lehigh County Commissioner and businesswoman who is seeking the GOP nomination for the 7th Congressional District, are both listed in the “contender” category, which is the second level of the program.
“These candidates are instrumental in helping Republicans reclaim the House majority,”said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. “With their continued hard work and dedication Republicans will be one step closer to sending the socialist Democrats packing in November.”
While Bognet and Granville are both included in the program, there are a total of six Republicans that are seeking their party’s nomination for this Trump friendly district, including Mike Cammisa, Teddy Daniels, Luzerne County Councilman Harry Haas, and former Hazleton Mayor Mike Marsicano.
President Donald Trump has not signaled support for a specific candidate in this primary yet, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) issued an endorsement for Granville.
The program includes both candidates during a time when the primary is heating up as they are jockeying support to appear as the “pro-Trump” candidate in the race.
Cartwright is currently serving his fourth term in Congress, most recently besting Republican John Chrin by just over 9 points. In 2016, Trump carried these boundaries by close to 10 points in 2016, while Cartwright fended off Republican Matt Connolly by a 7.6 point margin.
The Cook Political Report currently has the seat held by Cartwright listed as a “Toss-Up” for 2020.