Mike Kelly has become a “young gun.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” initiative — started by Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, and Eric Cantor — has added Kelly to its roster of up-and-coming GOP leaders.
Kelly is running what could become a partly self-financed race for the third district, comprising northwestern Pennsylvania.
The program will train and assist in an effort to help Kelly defeat Blue Dog Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper, who was swept into Congress in 2008, and is seen as highly vulnerable — despite a ten to one fundraising advantage.
The program’s slate of candidates in Pennsylvania is a who’s-who of battleground districts, and includes Lou Barletta, Mike Fitzpatrick, and Pat Meehan, all from southeastern Pennsylvania.
The district, prior to Dalhkemper, was represented by seven term congressman Phil English. The American Action Forum has released a poll putting Kelly up by a wide 14-point margin, 52 to 38 percent.
The Cantor-Ryan-McCarthy trio is also releasing a sort of solutions-manifesto book, “Young Guns,” on Sept. 14.