The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) today announced that Ben Lange, the rising conservative candidate in Iowa’s 1st congressional district, has been elevated to the top tier of Republican congressional candidates across the country. The move signals increasing danger for the embattled liberal Democrat incumbent Bruce Braley who has voted with Nancy Pelosi 98% of the time at the expense of Eastern Iowans.
“Ben Lange is ready to take on Democrat incumbent Bruce Braley, an out-of-touch Washington insider who has recklessly supported his party’s runaway spending spree which has led to unacceptably high unemployment and joblessness,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX). “Ben’s campaign is a symbol of the growing momentum behind Republican candidacies in Iowa and across the country. As Democrats in Washington continue to push their big-government, big-spending policies onto the backs of hard-working families, leaders like Ben Lange will continue to present a clear alternative to a majority that continues to spend too much, borrow too much and tax too much.”
Lange is a small town Iowan, born and raised in the 1st district. He grew up in a blue collar family in Quasqueton, Iowa. He is the son of a meat plant worker and registered nurse. After playing college baseball, he was the first in his family to earn a four-year college degree. He went on to earn a law degree and to advise a member of Congress on national security, agriculture, and judicial issues. He now operates a small law practice in Independence where he lives with his wife, Kelly, and his two little girls, Addison and Emelia.
Lange won a competitive June primary by 30 points, the largest margin of victory in modern times. In July, Lange shocked the political establishment by beating Bruce Braley in fundraising for the July Quarterly report. Shortly thereafter, the NRCC put Lange on the national radar and the Iowa Republican named him the ‘best positioned’ congressional candidate heading into the 2010 General Election. In August, National Review Online listed Lange as one of a dozen challengers to watch in the coming midterm elections.
An independent poll released in September publicly revealed for the first time what the Lange campaign had known for months — Bruce Braley is vulnerable. According to the poll, a mere 39% of voters in the 1st district want to re-elect Braley, the lowest re-elect number among all of Iowa’s House Democratic incumbents. Lange, who, unlike Braley, had not run a TV ad, had pulled within 4.4 points among the most likely voters, the closest of any Republican challenger in Iowa. Moreover, the poll revealed that only 16.7% of men identifying themselves as Independents plan to vote Democratic in November.
About the NRCC Young Guns’ Program
Originally founded in the 2007-2008 election cycle by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Paul Ryan (R-WI) as a member-driven organization, the Young Guns program has become an official NRCC effort dedicated to electing open-seat and challenger candidates nationwide. Reps. Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan remain actively involved in Young Guns, working together to recruit and prime Republican leaders for victory.
According to the NRCC, “Now that Ben Lange has completed the Young Guns’ benchmarks to place him on the road to victory, he is ready to take on out-of-touch Democrat Bruce Braley in November.”
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