Mark Greenberg
Mark Greenberg

Washington – The National Republican Congressional Campaign committee has elevated Mark Greenberg, a candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, to “Contender” status.

That means Greenberg is one step away from being a “Young Gun,” or top GOP pick to unseat an incumbent, deserving of special help from the national party.

Greenberg, who is running against Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty, has raised more than $500,000 out of his own pocket to fund his to campaign. That helps win the attention of national parties, who like self-funders because they won’t drain party resources or compete with other Republican candidates for campaign funds.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, meanwhile, has reserved more than $500,000 worth of independent ads to help Esty.

“Mark Greenberg has reached the ‘Contender’ status because he is exemplary of the new leadership needed in Washington D.C. to turn our country around and provide a check and balance in Washington,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden.

Walden cited Greenberg’s success “as an independent businessman and entrepreneur,” and his founding of the Simon Foundation, Inc., an animal rescue shelter in Bloomfield.

Dan Debicella, a Republican running against Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, is also on the list of the NRCC’s seven ‘Contenders.’ Debicella has raised more than $750,000 from individuals and PACs since he entered the race last fall – a fundraising strength not lost on the NRCC.

Himes, however, is the treasurer for the DCCC, and has outpaced Debicella in raising campaign cash.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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