Washington (AP) — House Republicans are critical of diversity and inclusion programs within the federal government and elsewhere, but they see recruiting women and minority candidates, along with veterans, as key to expanding their slim majority in November.

Rep. Richard Hudson, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, recently listed for reporters a slew of candidates that he described as fitting the "formula” for the GOP expanding their ranks in November.

There was Prasanth Reddy, a cancer doctor who immigrated to the U.S. from India and joined the military after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He’s running for a congressional seat in northeast Kansas. Then there was Alison Esposito, a gay former police detective running for a seat in New York.

Another example Hudson cited was George Logan, whose parents came to the U.S. from Guatemala and is running for a seat in Connecticut. Also, there’s Kevin Lincoln, an African American and Hispanic mayor in Stockton, Calif., and Mayra Flores, who is making another run. She made history by becoming the first Mexican-born congresswoman, but she subsequently lost in the 2022 midterms.

“These are not run-of-the-mill generic Republicans," Hudson said.

Republicans are hoping the gains they made in the 2022 midterm elections will continue with their latest slate of candidates.

House Democrats have a sizeable advantage when it comes to minority voters and don’t intend to cede any ground, announcing a $35 million investment last month focused on reaching out to voters of color through polling, organizing and ads. The contest to appeal to female and minority voters will certainly be one of the factors determining which party controls the House next year.

Hudson noted that in the last presidential election, prognosticators were predicting that Republicans would lose seats.

“I think they say a lot of things, but I think their actions really are what folks should look at,” said Rep. Suzan DelBene, the chair of the campaign arm for House Democrats. “And their actions have been the opposite. They mock diversity and equity, and they put forward policies that go against diverse communities across the county.”

DelBene is referring in part to the scores of policy mandates that House Republicans have included in spending bills. Most of the bills sought to prohibit taxpayer dollars from going to offices and programs related to diversity, equity and inclusion, which focus on ensuring fair treatment and participation of all people, especially those that have been subject to discrimination.

It’s not just House Republicans seeking to end such programs. Republican lawmakers in at least 17 states have proposed some three dozen bills to restrict or require public disclosure of DEI initiatives, according to an Associated Press analysis using the bill-tracking software Plural.