- The Washington Times - Monday, November 11, 2019

The Republican Main Street Partnership is beginning to build a “farm team” to help the GOP recapture the House from Democrats come 2022.

The group of moderate Republicans, which bills itself as “the governing wing of the Republican Party,” counts 55 members of Congress in its ranks, according to its website, and it is in the early stages of charting the GOP’s way back to the majority in the House.

Republican Main Street Partnership CEO Sarah Chamberlain said her team is focused in 2020 on protecting vulnerable House Republicans while flipping a handful of seats that Democrats added in the 2018 midterms.

Ms. Chamberlain said she thinks Republicans could pick up two to three seats next November, but likely not gain more than five seats, meaning the House looks to be out of reach until 2022.

“We’ve never really built a farm team, Main Street now is trying to really build a farm team,” Ms. Chamberlain said in an interview. “We need a farm team and that is our big push. And that’s why our really big push with focusing on 2022 — hold what we have, try to add a few, and then really go all out in 2022.”

Ms. Chamberlain said the GOP is facing a “crisis” with suburban voters, particularly women who are “not opposed to anything [Trump is] doing, they’re just opposed to how he’s doing it.”

Next week, the Republican Main Street Partnership is hosting its first-ever candidate school with seven candidates for House seats set to gather in private in D.C.

Ms. Chamberlain said the attendees will learn about how to reach suburbanites with their message, how to attract support from union members and how to build an effective ground game.

“A Main Street-type Republican lives in a little bit different district, has to have a little bit different rhetoric, and we need to go and teach them that because that’s not something that they’re getting,” Ms. Chamberlain said. “Not that the [National Republican Congressional Committee] isn’t doing that, but they’re focused on the big picture, we’re focused on our niche.”

The politics of impeachment has the potential to scramble the 2020 race, and Ms. Chamberlain said she is telling her members and prospective candidates to adopt a “wait-and-see” approach toward how things unfold at the upcoming hearings.

Ms. Chamberlain said her group is springing into action now to ensure Republicans down-ticket are ready if the impeachment proceedings send things “way off the rails.”

Among the House seats the Republican Main Street Partnership is looking to capture are competitive races in California’s 50th Congressional district, Iowa’s 3rd Congressional district, Kansas’ 3rd Congressional district and New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional district among several others.

In the Senate, the group will be working in support of the reelections of Sens. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, and Martha McSally, Arizona Republican.

“Main Street, we really are the majority makers,” Ms. Chamberlain said. “I know some of the conservatives hate that, but it is the truth.”

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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