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California Trailblazers today named the first two legislative candidates to reach its first level of recognition under the new GOP candidate recruitment and training program.

Assembly District 5 candidate Frank Bigelow , whose rivals include fellow Republican Rico Oller, and Assembly District 49 candidate Matthew Lin, who's competing in a heavily Democratic Los Angeles district, reached "Pathfinder" status, the first of three levels set for candidates participating in the program.

Their designation was based on meeting unspecified fundraising and organizational benchmarks. Candidates who reach different levels in the program will be eligible for additional training on fundraising and other campaign skills.

The Trailblazers program is modeled after the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. It was launched ahead of this year's election by Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who founded the Young Guns program, and Republican leaders Bob Huff and Connie Conway.



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