Club for Growth invites GOP primary challenges with new Web Site

February 27, 2013

The Club for Growth on Wednesday launched a new Web site inviting primary challenges to Republican members of Congress in safe GOP districts to whom the anti-tax group has assigned low marks.

The Club is specifically highlighting Republicans who are not at real risk of losing in the general election, based on the strong GOP tilt of their districts. In many of the districts the group is highlighting, Mitt Romney received more than six in 10 votes in 2012.

The group says it will rotate members it plans to highlight on the site, beginning with nine initial targets it announced on Wednesday: Reps. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Steve Palazzo ((R-Miss.), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Renee Elmers (R-N.C.), and Aaron Schock (R-Ill.).

The Club, which released its annual congressional vote scorecard on Tuesday, says the Web site is designed to raise awareness of the members’ records as well as offer group members and the public the opportunity to suggest primary challengers. The Republicans the group plans to highlight mainly have less than a 70 percent lifetime rating from the Club.

"Big government liberals inhabit the Democratic Party, but they are far too common within the Republican Party as well,” said Club resident Chris Chocola, in a statement.

Over the years, the Club has developed a reputation for taking on moderate Republican incumbents in primaries, often irking some establishment Republicans along the way. For example, the group backed Republican Richard Mourdock against longtime incumbent senator Richard Lugar in Indiana last year. While Mourdock won the primary, he lost in the general election.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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