Today, the Republican National Committee publicly announced its “Rising Stars” campaign, a push to present “new voices” and fresh faces on the national stage. These Republicans “will be prominently featured on GOP.com and given a national platform to share their unique perspectives.”
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus also announced the first four Rising Stars — quite a diverse group — to be spotlighted: Karin Agness, the founding president of the Network of Enlightened Women; Scott G. Erickson, a writer for the Heritage Foundation; Marilinda Garcia, a state representative from New Hampshire; and T.W. Shannon, the Speaker of the House in Oklahoma.
As the Associated Press reports, this initiative is part of a wider effort of the GOP “to sell itself to a more diverse segment of the population, acknowledging a glaring weakness in the GOP’s ability to attract new voters in a country whose demographics are rapidly changing.”
Garcia, who was elected in 2006 to the New Hampshire House of Representatives at only 23 years old, remarked of the program that since the GOP has “this stereotype of Republicans being old, white, Anglo-Saxon men” while there are young people like her who are also fighting for the conservative cause, the RNC simply thought, “Why not have her talk about our values instead of Newt Gingrich all the time?”
The RNC plans to unveil its next four Rising Stars four months from now. In the meantime, it will be worth watching how effective this initiative is in making these four figures influential on a national level, as well as in courting voters from all demographics.