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Koster now deemed ‘On the Radar’ by NRCC
Republican candidate for Congress John Koster has been named an "On the Radar" candidate, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced Thursday.
Koster is taking another shot at winning the seat for Washington’s 2nd Congressional District. He lost in the 2010 rematch race to Rep. Rick Larsen, the incumbent Democrat, by 6,519 votes (51 percent to 48.9 percent).
NRCC officials said the "On the Radar" designation is an important second step in the "Young Guns" program. Founded during the 2007-2008 election cycle by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), the "Young Guns" program is the committee's primary method for recruiting strong candidates for both open seats and challenger races. Achieving "On the Radar" status means that Koster has met funding and organizational benchmarks and has started to establish himself as a strong contender.
“We are looking forward to working with John Koster, who has already proven himself by meeting rigorous benchmarks in the ‘Young Guns’ program,” NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions said in a press statement.
Koster, a third generation dairy farmer, is currently a Snohomish County Councilman and previously served in the Washington State Legislature.
Koster's campaign reported it had raised $106,000 in its third quarter Federal Election Commission reporting period, and has raised $154,000 overall.
The third quarter report covers donations received between July 1 and Sept. 30.
Koster campaign officials said the recent report includes contributions from 542 people — 98.5 percent from Washington state residents — and 453 donations were $100 or less.
Though Koster has been critical of Larsen during his new campaign for Congress, Larsen's campaign had deferred on naming Koster as the challenger it will face in 2012. Larsen's campaign has said the congressman's eventual opponent won't be clear until the redistricting process wraps up at the end of this year.
Earlier this month, the Larsen campaign reported $164,621 in donations for the third quarter reporting cycle.
Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen also reported $621,437 in total cash on hand.