The House Republican political committee is pushing back against criticism it lacks a diverse field of 2020 candidates, promoting female and minority hopefuls who have jumped in the race to unseat Democrats next year.
“In the past week alone, we have had well-qualified female Republican candidates announce in our 55 target districts,” the National Republican Congressional Committee announced in a memo obtained by the Washington Examiner.
The NRCC issued the memo amid report that the GOP field is shrinking in diversity and losing key veteran incumbents.
The memo declares, “GOP Recruitment Remains Robust.”
Republicans need to flip 18 seats to regain the majority in 2020 but the growing list of retirements, particularly in swing districts, could make the task far more difficult.
Nine House Republican lawmakers so far have announced they will not seek reelection in 2020, including the only African American House GOP lawmaker, Will Hurd of Texas, and two women: Reps. Martha Roby of Alabama and Susan Brooks of Indiana.
The NRCC memo paints a brighter picture by highlighting three new female candidates: Sara Hart Weir, Randi Reed, and Genevieve Collins, who are taking on Democratic incumbents in 2020.
Weir is challenging Rep. Sharice Davids in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, Reed is running against Rep. Steven Horsford in Nevada’s 4th District, and Collins is taking on Rep. Colin Allred in Texas’ 32nd District.
“These build on the early fundraising success of additional female Republican candidates,” the memo notes, citing Amanda Makki, who is running in Florida’s 13th District, Ashley Hinson, a candidate in Iowa’s 1st District, and Nicole Malliotakis, competing in New York’s 11th District, all battleground races.
The memo also showcases minority candidates Tina Ramirez, who is running in Virginia’s 7th District, Michelle Steel, a candidate in California’s 48th District, and Evelyn Sanguinetti, running for the 6th District seat in Illinois.
Ramirez is Hispanic, Steel is Korean, and Sanguinetti was the nation’s first Latina lieutenant governor.
“17 candidates in our 55 target districts come from diverse backgrounds,” the NRCC states in the memo.
The list includes three veterans, Wesley Hunt, running in Texas’ 7th District, Mike Garcia, running in California’s 25th District, and Charles Navarro, who is trying to flip Nevada’s 4th District.
Hunt is an African American Iraq War veteran who has raised more than half a million dollars in the second quarter of 2019. Garcia flew combat missions in Iraq and Navarro is a Navy veteran.