Steve Crass the top fundraising Republican in bid to unseat Jim Costa

Bee Washington BureauApril 18, 2014 

Steve Crass

Former Navy officer Steve Crass got a boost in his bid to unseat Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, as the National Republican Congressional Committee has named him to the first level of the Young Gun program.

Crass's selection as an "On The Radar" candidate comes as he posts respectable fundraising numbers for the first quarter of the year. Crass reported raising $107,000 during the first three months of 2014, and had $73,400 on hand as of March 31. Nearly all of Crass's itemized contributions came from San Joaquin Valley residents.

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The NRCC's "On the Radar" candidates are those who have met a "minimum threshhold in campaign organization and show potential to achieve greater status in the program as the cycle progresses," according to the campaign committee. The Young Gun program includes other levels of competitiveness, as well.

Crass formerly served as an assistant U.S. attorney following his Navy service.

By contrast, none of the other Republicans seeking to challenge Costa in a 16th Congressional District that includes all or portions of Merced, Madera and Fresno counties, have more than $12,000 on hand. Costa reports having $642,539 available.

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