A pair of Pennsylvania Republican congressional hopefuls have now reached the highest level of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Gun program.
Jim Bognet, a former Trump administration appointee who is the GOP nominee for the 8th Congressional District, and Lisa Scheller, a former Lehigh County Commissioner and businesswoman running as the GOP nominee for the 7th Congressional District, were added in the NRCC’s latest round of selections that included 15 candidates for the program aimed at mentoring and supporting Republican candidates with resources to help run a successful campaign.
“These candidates on this list will ensure that hardworking Americans are heard and protected from the Democrats socialist agenda,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in a release. “We are less than 100 days out and this impressive group is poised to turn the House red.”
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.”
Scheller’s “Young Gun” bio page, describes her as a “fiscally conservative fighter” who has advocated for “spending restraint, lower taxes, job creation and an end to special-interest giveaways.”
Bognet and Scheller join 34 additional candidates that have achieved the “Young Gun” status for the program, including Sean Parnell, a combat veteran and conservative author who is running in the state’s 17th Congressional District. Parnell was promoted to “Young Gun” status in late May. There are no other Republicans from the state in the two other tiers of the program.
Bognet was initially added as “on the radar” in the NRCC program in late April along with Earl Granville, a decorated combat veteran and veterans’ advocate, who was also seeking the GOP nomination for the district in Northeast PA. Bognet bested the 6 candidate field in the GOP primary and will face Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) for the seat.
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.
Scheller was the first Republican in the state to be added as “on the radar” in the NRCC program back in November 2019. Scheller, who was endorsed by President Donald Trump prior to the GOP primary, defeated Dean Browning to secure the GOP nomination and will attempt to unseat Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh).
Wild is currently serving her first term in Congress representing the Lehigh Valley. She bested GOP candidate, former Lehigh County Commissioner Marty Nothstein, by 10 points for the newly drawn district. Sec. Hillary Clinton narrowly edged out Trump in these boundaries in 2016.