GOP’s rising stars send out diversified messages

August 17, 2010

By Seth McLaughlin-The Washington Times

The poster boys for the Republican Party’s resurgence – Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts – are deploying their differing styles to aid the GOP’s quest for midterm election victory.

Since their victories in 2009 and 2010, Mr. McDonnell has been the most active, holding dozens of fundraisers for candidates inside and outside his state. Mr. Brown has been more selective in whom he backs, focusing most of his attention on supporting the candidates who helped propel him to unexpected victory.

Mr. Christie has been busy trying to fix his financially troubled state, making headlines with a conservative agenda that Republicans say highlights the aggressive measures their ilk is willing to make.

“These are all different candidates with different histories and backgrounds,” said Paul Lindsay, a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee. “But I think that the campaigns that Gov. McDonnell ran, Gov. Christie ran and Scott Brown ran prove that different Republicans with different ideologies, with different backgrounds, can be successful in states that don’t always trend toward Republicans.”

With President Obama’s poll numbers dipping and the Democratic Party’s hold on Congress in jeopardy, Mr. McDonnell, Mr. Christie and Mr. Brown have been given the chance to both gauge their standing among the heavy hitters of the Republican Party – Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin – and put their imprint on the party’s fate.

Monday night, Mr. McDonnell urged a crowd gathered for a political fundraiser in Richmond, Va., for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who faces a difficult re-election challenge from former Houston Mayor Bill White.

“Rick Perry is a great leader for Texas. He understands his first job is to help create jobs,” Mr. McDonnell said. “With Rick Perry, what you see is what you get. He understands that the states are the laboratories of Democracy and innovation.”

Mr. McDonnell’s event for Mr. Perry is the latest in series of fundraisers he has held for high-profile Republican candidates, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who is seeking re-election, and Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who is running for the governor’s office.

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