Republican Congressional candidate, State Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, has been elevated to “Contender” status, the 2nd of three tiers in the National Republican Congressional Committee’s 2020 Young Guns program.

“It’s a testament to the strength of the Miller-Meeks campaign that our candidate was able to qualify for the ‘on the radar’ category in just three months and move into the contender category just three months later,” Campaign manager Austin Harris said.

According to the NRCC website, Contender candidates have completed stringent program metrics and are on the path to developing a mature and competitive campaign operation. The site also details that the program requires candidates to work towards specific goals and meet benchmarks throughout the election cycle to ensure their campaigns remain competitive, well-funded, and communicative within their districts.

Miller-Meeks joins Ashley Hinson of the first congressional district and David Young of the third congressional district on the contender list. Hinson and Young were both announced in February.  The NRCC’s announcement on Miller-Meeks this morning comes on the heels of the release of her first-quarter fundraising numbers. The campaign reported raising $256,374.50 in the first three months of 2020 and that It had $397,324.97 cash on hand as of March 31

Seven-term Democrat Representative Dave Loebsack is vacating Iowa’s second congressional district. It’s rated a “toss-up” by Cook Political Report and “tilt-democratic” by Inside Elections. Miler-Meeks in one of several Republicans vying for the GOP nomination, but most insiders see the race between her and former Illinois Congressman Bobby Schilling of Le Claire.