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NRCC backing opponents Pantano, Rouzer

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With the North Carolina primary still more than six months away, it appears the Republican Party is hedging its bets in the race to challenge Rep. Mike McIntyre.

The National Republican Congressional Committee today announced Ilario Pantano and David Rouzer are "On the Radar" candidates. The NRCC says it's the important second step in the "Young Guns" program, which recruits strong candidates for both open-seat and challenger races.

Pantano and Rouzer are both running for North Carolina's 7th Congressional District.

"We are looking forward to working with Ilario Pantano, who has already proven himself by coming so close to victory last cycle and having a strong grassroots organization," NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions said in a statement. "Ilario Pantano's dedication and experience enables him to advocate effectively for pro-growth policies and fight the failed status quo in Washington. This will stand in stark contrast to the Obama-Pelosi record of spending, borrowing and taxing that North Carolina families and small businesses know has failed."

Sessions had similarly kind words for Rouzer.

"We are looking forward to working with David Rouzer, who has already proven himself by meeting rigorous benchmarks in the 'Young Guns' program," Sessions said. "David Rouzer's dedication and experience enables him to advocate effectively for pro-growth policies and fight the failed status quo in Washington. This will stand in stark contrast to the Obama-Pelosi record of spending, borrowing and taxing that North Carolina families and small businesses know has failed."

Rouzer and Pantano are vying for the Republican nomination for the 7th District seat. The winner will challenge incumbent Democrat McIntyre.

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