The National Republican Congressional Committee announced Thursday that seven more GOP candidates have been appointed to "Young Gun" status for their "ability to build a formidable campaign structure."
The new candidates join 83 other Republican congressional hopefuls promoted by the NRCC as up-and-coming contenders.
The latest additions, like this year's Young Guns lineup in general, reflect a seeming drop in support for the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, the Grover Norquist-backed anti-tax oath, in which candidates and lawmakers vow not to support new taxes.
The Huffington Post reported earlier this month that support for the pledge among Young Guns has declined since the 2009-10 election cycle. During the 2010 midterm elections, a large majority of Young Guns -- 88 percent -- signed the anti-tax oath from Norquist's organization, Americans for Tax Reform.
Of the latest batch of Young Guns, three have lent their signature, bringing the pledge-signing rate among the Young Guns class of 2012 to 48 out of 90 candidates, or 53 percent.
Americans For Tax Reform spokesman John Kartch dismissed the disparate percentages earlier this month as an apples-to-oranges comparison, saying the current election cycle is not yet over and his group is still lobbying federal candidates to sign on.
The following candidates were added to the Young Guns roster Thursday: former Florida state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, running in the 22nd District; attorney Ben Lange, running in Iowa's 1st District; attorney John Archer, running in Iowa's 2nd District; Maine state Senate President Kevin Raye, running in the 2nd District; North Dakota state public service commissioner Kevin Cramer, running for the state's at-large seat; businessman Danny Tarkanian, running in Nevada's 4th District; and former Erie County executive Chris Collins, running in New York's 27th District.
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