Young Guns is a recruitment program led by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and run by the NRCC that identifies candidates across the country who embody the principles of the House Republican Conference and show promise of running a successful campaign.
Co-founded in the 2007-2008 election cycle by former Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), current Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), the program seeks to retake the Republican Majority in the House of Representatives.
Young Guns is broken into three levels containing measurable goals that a candidate must achieve to advance in the program. Candidates who achieve Young Gun status have successfully collaborated with the NRCC and completed the benchmarks that establish a path to victory on Election Day.
In the 2010 wave election, more than two-thirds of the NRCC Young Guns (62 of 92) were elected to Congress. In 2012, the program helped to elect 35 new Republican Members to the 113th Congress and 45 new members to the 114th Congress.