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NRCC vows neutrality in nomination battles

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.— When it comes to House seats with no Republican incumbent, nominations in special elections and even some controversial situations, the National Republican Congressional Committee will not get involved.

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, who was recently elected NRCC chairman, vowed neutrality in contested nomination battles. He spoke to Human Events Thursday afternoon during a break from the House Republican retreat.

“It’s not our job to do that,” Walden told us. “I’m open to talking to any candidate for Congress, but it is the local parties that should be involved [in nominating Republican candidates].”

Another reporter asked a follow-up question, about the upcoming special election in South Carolina’s 1st District and whether Walden and the NRCC had any problems with the candidacy of controversial former Gov. Mark Sanford. Obviously aware of Sanford’s internationally-watched admission of an extra-marital affair in 2009 and subsequent divorce, Walden made clear the national party would back the former governor if he becomes their nominee. Pressed as to whether he felt Sanford’s past would not be a problem in the special election, Walden said: “He has to convince local Republicans of that.”

Walden also said the committee would step up its outreach efforts to women and minorities. He recently announced that Rep. Jamie Herrera-Butler of Washington State, the youngest woman among House Republicans, and Oklahoma Reps. Tom Cole and Markwayne Mullins, both native Americans, would be leaders in these efforts.

“When 50,000 Hispanics a month are reaching voting age, we have to reach to them with our message,” he said. “We have good answers, but bad communications. That’s the major problem.”

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NRCC vows neutrality in nomination battles

“It is the local parties that should be involved,” said Oregon Rep. Greg Walden.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.?? When it comes to House seats with no Republican incumbent, nominations in special elections and even some controversial situations, the National Republican Congressional Committee will not get involved.

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, who was recently elected NRCC chairman, vowed neutrality in contested nomination battles. He spoke to Human Events Thursday afternoon during a break from the House Republican retreat.

??It??s not our job to do that,? Walden told us. ??I??m open to talking to any candidate for Congress, but it is the local parties that should be involved [in nominating Republican candidates].?

Another reporter asked a follow-up question, about the upcoming special election in South Carolina??s 1st District and whether Walden and the NRCC had any problems with the candidacy of controversial former Gov. Mark Sanford. Obviously aware of Sanford??s internationally-watched admission of an extra-marital affair in 2009 and subsequent divorce, Walden made clear the national party would back the former governor if he becomes their nominee. Pressed as to whether he felt Sanford??s past would not be a problem in the special election, Walden said: ??He has to convince local Republicans of that.?

Walden also said the committee would step up its outreach efforts to women and minorities. He recently announced that Rep. Jamie Herrera-Butler of Washington State, the youngest woman among House Republicans, and Oklahoma Reps. Tom Cole and Markwayne Mullins, both native Americans, would be leaders in these efforts.

??When 50,000 Hispanics a month are reaching voting age, we have to reach to them with our message,? he said. ??We have good answers, but bad communications. That??s the major problem.?

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Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ??the man who knows everyone in Washington? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what??s going on in the nation??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ??Gizzi on Politics? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ??Gizzi??s America,? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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