Republicans have reeled in a diverse and promising assortment of candidates for 2010, lured by the prospect of a “wave” election that will sweep them into power. “We’ve got candidates popping up all over the place,” Mitch McConnell tells the Washington Post, “and candidates that we have really, really encouraged to get in.” California Rep. Kevin McCarthy spearheads the effort, which has turned up longtime prospects like California Assemblyman Van Tran as well as promising newcomers, like Stephen Fincher in Tennessee.
Fincher, a gospel singer and farmer who raised $300,000 in September without a single staffer, is a threat to take a seat Democrats have held for 21 years. But like many Republicans, he may soon face a primary challenge that Democrats hope will damage establishment darlings. Carly Fiorina, for example, will have to fight to face Barbara Boxer. But Republicans are thrilled to have candidates fighting to take on incumbents like Boxer, who won by double digits in 2004.