The National Republican Congressional Committee has put state Rep. Jaime Herrera “on its radar” and on track for significant party support in her campaign for Congress, based in part on her fundraising prowess in the first quarter of 2010.
The committee announced Monday that it has named Herrera, R-Camas, an “On the Radar” candidate, an important first step in its Young Guns program. Young Guns, founded by Republican leaders in the 2007-2008 election cycle, is designed to help up-and-coming GOP candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives run winning campaigns. By reaching “On the Radar’ status, Herrera has proven her ability to build a successful campaign structure and achieve important fundraising goals, said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions.
“Jaime is an accomplished, independent leader who will fight to create jobs and rein in government spending,” Sessions said in a statement. “I am confident we will wage a strong and successful fight to put this seat in the Republican column and restore common-sense leadership in the Third District.”
“Impressing the NRCC is not exactly my goal,” said Herrera, although she added, “I would love it if they wanted to invest” in her campaign.
She said she was more focused on “whether our message of job growth and budget restraint resonates with folks in Southwest Washington.”
Herrera raised $141,226 in the first three months of 2010 in her campaign to succeed Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Baird. That brought her overall fundraising total to $197,000.
With a balance of $140,069 in her campaign account as of March 31, she had nearly three times as much cash on hand as her closest GOP competitor, Olympia financial consultant David Castillo.
Among Democratic contenders for the seat, Olympia entrepreneur Denny Heck leads the field with $532,446 in cash on hand. He is trailed by state Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, who has $51,036 in cash.
Herrera, who is finishing her first full two-year term in the Legislature, attracted national interest in February when she was hosted by her former boss, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton at a political fundraiser in Washington, D.C. Politico noted in an article about her that Herrera is one of the few Hispanic Republicans running for Congress this year.