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Maria Elvira Salazar added to NRCC “Young Guns” program

Florida’s 27th Congressional District candidate Maria Elvira Salazar is officially “On the Radar” of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The group added Salazar to the first phase of its Young Guns program, a sign the group thinks Salazar could hold the seat for Republicans in November.

According to the NRCC’s website: “On the Radar candidates are individuals running in competitive congressional seats. They have met the minimum threshold in campaign organization and show potential to achieve greater status in the program as the cycle progresses.”

CD 27 is undoubtedly competitive.

The decision of longtime Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to not pursue re-election has triggered competitive primaries among both major parties. Nine people, including Salazar, are running on the Republican side. Five Democrats and one Independent have also registered to run.

Currently, the Cook Political Report rates the CD 27 race as “leaning Democratic.” That makes it all the more important for Republicans to field a strong candidate if they want to hold on to this seat.

Salazar is a journalist based in Miami whose previous gigs include anchor roles at both Telemundo and CNN en Español. She received a recent endorsement from conservative activist group FreedomWorks and its PAC, FreedomWorks for America.

The NRCC, a committee focused on electing Republicans to the House of Representatives, notes that admission to the Young Guns program requires candidates to “meet specific goals throughout the cycle to ensure their campaigns are able to operate effectively.”

Salazar isn’t the only CD 27 Republican candidate the NRCC says has cleared that bar. Former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruce Barreiro was also named to the program.

In a statement congratulating Salazar on her addition to the program, NRCC Executive Director John Rogers said, “Her compelling personal story, deep Miami roots, and fundraising prowess have served her campaign well.”

He added, “Salazar is a lifelong resident of Miami who has what it takes to keep this seat red. The NRCC looks forward to watching Salazar’s campaign continue to progress.”

It remains to be seen whether Salazar can come out on top of a crowded field. We’ll have an answer on August 28 when primary voters head to the polls. The general election will follow on November 6.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to

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