Is House GOP poised to create its own 'squad' of bold, conservative women?

Young conservative House candidates span wider ideological range than liberal 'squad' members like AOC, Tlaib and Omar.

Updated: August 20, 2020 - 2:14pm

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House Republicans could be poised to create their own conservative "squad" of charismatic, young women who might serve as an informal answer or foil to the prominent, liberal group of young, female Democrats who swept into power in 2018.

However, the young GOP House candidates span a wider ideological range than liberal "squad" members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Republican Kimberly Klacik, an African-American young woman running for the U.S. House, created a viral video challenging Democratic governance in Baltimore, claiming more than five decades of one-party rule had resulted in a decimated black community. 

Klacik's dramatic video of her walking through the boarded-up streets of Baltimore caught the attention of President Trump. 

"Kimberly will work with the Trump Administration and we will bring Baltimore back, and fast," Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "Don’t blow it Baltimore, the Democrats have destroyed your city!"

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Trump also congratulated Anna Paulina Luna, a GOP House candidate from Florida's 13th district who won her primary race Tuesday night. Luna is a Latina and an Air Force veteran with a substantial social media following. She previously served as a spokeswoman for the youth grassroots organization Turning Point USA founded by activist Charlie Kirk.

"Great WIN Anna! Watched your race from beginning, very impressed," Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "Your next opponent, Charlie Crist, is a Pelosi puppet who is bad on Crime, our Military, Vets, & 2nd Amendment. You have my Complete & Total Endorsement!"

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Political commentator Laura Loomer, another young woman with a viral social media following, on Tuesday night succeeded in her outsider bid to win a House GOP primary in Florida, defeating five opponents and getting congratulations from Trump, whose Mar-a-Lago home is in her district.

Loomer, 27, will now face four-term Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel in the state’s Democrat-leaning 21 congressional district, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties. Loomer – dubbed “the Republicans’ AOC” – emerged late in her primary as a frontrunner largely on strong fundraising and support from names like Roger Stone, a former Trump adviser, and radio host Alex Jones.

"Great going Laura," Trump tweeted. "You have a great chance against a Pelosi puppet!"

Loomer’s opinions are not those of the establishment or mainstream. Her views about Islam have resulted in her being banned on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Last week,Trump also congratulated Marjorie Taylor Greene, a construction executive who won her primary in Georgia's heavily-Republican 14th Congressional District. 

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"Congratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia against a very tough and smart opponent," Trump tweeted. "Marjorie is strong on everything and never gives up - a real WINNER!"

Some House GOP leaders distanced themselves from Greene for her comments against Muslims, with a spokesman for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calling her views "appalling." 

Should the crop of young, conservative women enter Congress next year, they could also position themselves similarly to the liberal "squad" as challenging older, more "establishment" leadership. Whether voters want to see such a dynamic will become clear in November.

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