Rising Stars Prove the GOP's Rebuilding Process Was Worth It

Regardless, the dynamic young Speaker will continue to play a role as the party seeks to expand its appeal to a wider audience. He appears up to the task.

"One of the challenges we have as conservatives is recognizing that people can disagree, but they can still be Republicans," said Shannon. "I think Republicans are more independent by nature; we don't fall into the 'group think' culture very well. There is room for people to disagree; our tent is big enough for that disagreement".

State Sen. Bryce Reeves – Virginia 17th State Senate District

In another battleground state, state Sen. Bryce Reeves is distinguishing himself even as Virginia Republicans face an uncertain future. Reeves boasts a resume straight out of Republican central casting. A former Army Ranger and police detective, Reeves eventually became a small business owner and worked his way up in the party before running for state Senate in 2010.

The 46-year-old sounds a familiar tune when discussing the future of the GOP: "Republicans must get better at discussing outcomes over process," Reeves said. "We have to better explain to voters what the results of our policies will be and learn to speak about how government becomes more effective with our policies and not just in budget and numbers."

He also points out the importance of finding areas of consensus. "Republicans must engage in a year-round conversation with voters beyond the base. We need to start that conversation with a focus on the area where we agree," he concluded.

Though his time in office has been short, Reeves has already begun moving toward the national stage. He cites several prominent Virginia Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and former Sen. John Warner, among his mentors and also served as co-chair for the GOPAC 2013 Emerging Leaders Summit.

Veteran GOP consultant Greg Mueller has been impressed with Reeves, saying, "Bryce is as down to earth and likeable person as they come. He is an up-and-coming, across-the-board conservative and incredibly savvy campaigner who resume blows away any field of competition. ... No doubt he is positioned for great things politically."

Virginia is another state that Republicans must recapture if they are to win nationally. Reeves will likely require a few more years under his belt in Richmond before he can run statewide, but with the state's one-term gubernatorial limit, it's reasonable to think he'll be in the conversation for the seat in the near future.

Joe Brettell is a former Capitol Hill aide and GOP strategist, and currently a political and public relations consultant. On Twitter @joebrettell

Opinions expressed in this column do not reflect the views of ABC News.

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