Rep. Patrick McHenry (R., N.C.) is the head of the House Conservatives Fund (HCF), a non-connected federal PAC supported by more than 100 fiscally and socially conservative members of Congress.
Here’s how the group describes its mission:
Our mission is two-fold:
1. To regain the Republican majority in Congress.
2. To assure that principled conservatives are elected (and re-elected).
When evaluating candidates, the House Conservatives Fund considers economic and social issues. We are focused on finding candidates who support fiscal responsibility, lower and simpler taxes, fewer obstacles to job creation, a smaller and more efficient federal government, a strong national defense, and the protection of traditional family values.
McHenry tells NRO that the HCF has a “wonderful opportunity to elect genuine conservatives” in 2010.
Though energized about the GOP’s chances next year, McHenry says that he will not get involved in next month’s special election in New York’s 23rd congressional district, where conservative Doug Hoffman is challenging liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava. Scozzafava, who has been endorsed by the National Republican Congressional Committee and the local GOP, supports abortion rights and gay marriage.
McHenry says that he will “not give out funding in an odd year,” or in a special election. “The important thing for us to do is build up for the 2010 election, not to give to any candidate in 2009,” he says. “I’ve held fast to that. I’m not doing research on elections in 2009. I’m looking toward the 2010 elections.”
Still, “I want to see conservatives elected,” says McHenry. “Though I haven’t been involved [in NY-23], you’ll see the House Conservatives Fund support conservative candidates in Republican primaries next year. We’ll be endorsing and funding conservative candidates who can win. It’s important to realize that we’ll have a strong statement to make in certain primaries.” He lists the GOP campaigns of Andy Harris in eastern Maryland, Steve Pearce in New Mexico, and Steve Chabot in Ohio as three that show a lot of promise.
“We have to make sure that conservatives feel at home in the Republican party,” says McHenry. “I’m a conservative person and a Republican second. It’s a matter of us sending the right message nationally.”
When pressed again about whether he will support Hoffman in NY-23 or weigh in on the race, McHenry said such a scenario was “highly unlikely.”