Jeffries Taps DelBene to Chair Democrats’ House Campaign Arm

December 22, 2022 by Dan McCue
Jeffries Taps DelBene to Chair Democrats’ House Campaign Arm
Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., the incoming House Democratic leader, has taped Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a move unanimously endorsed by the House Democratic caucus on Thursday.

Two other Democratic caucus members, Reps. Ami Bera and Tony Cárdenas, both of California, were also said to be in the running for the position, but Jeffries concluded DelBene, the outgoing New Democrat Coalition chair, is “the right leader, with the right experience and the right demeanor to meet this pivotal moment.”

The previous chair of the DCCC, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, lost his seat in New York’s 17th Congressional District last month.

In explaining his decision to pick DelBene, Jeffries said, “Suzan is a battle-tested, former frontline member who brings to the DCCC role a sharp political instinct, proven fundraising ability as well as serious management and operational experience inside and outside government. 

“In the last decade, Rep. DelBene won a tough seat as a red-to-blue candidate, held a tough seat as a frontline candidate and then put that tough seat out of reach,” he continued. “Suzan has also recently served in key DCCC leadership roles, including as Finance co-chair in 2018 when we successfully reclaimed the House majority and frontline co-chair in 2020 when we successfully defended it.”

Jeffries also noted that DelBene was “one of the first and only members to flag that Democrats could win in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. 

“She then went to work and helped elect incoming Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in a rural and exurban district that long eluded the grasp of Democrats. As DCCC chair, Suzan is ready to hit the ground running and build upon our unprecedented success this cycle,” he said.

“It’s an honor to be selected by Leader Jeffries to serve as DCCC Chair for the 2024 cycle,” DelBene said in a written statement. “I’m ready to get to work with our new leadership team and all corners of our caucus to win back the House majority. 

“Democrats are dedicated to showing Americans that governance can work, advancing the policies that will make a difference to families, workers and communities, and pushing back against MAGA Republican extremism and chaos,” she said.

The House Democratic caucus adopted an amendment during a closed-door meeting last month that allows the leader to appoint the chair of the DCCC instead of being elected in the closed-door meeting. 

The amendment was originally proposed by DelBene, as well as Reps. Brad Schneider of Illinois and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin.

Schneider, chair of the New Democrat Coalition Action Fund, an offshoot of the largely centrist House caucus, said in statement that he was “incredibly proud to congratulate my dear friend, colleague, and outgoing New Democrat Coalition Chair Suzan DelBene on her appointment as the next chair of the DCCC for the 2024 cycle.” 

“As the ‘majority makers’ in Congress, NewDems could not ask for a better partner at the DCCC. Suzan has the necessary experience as a former red-to-blue candidate and frontline member to lead the committee,” he said. “There will be no stronger ally of our NewDem colleagues or fiercer champion for taking back the Democratic majority than Suzan.

“With Chair DelBene leading the NewDems in Congress, Democrats had the best midterm election under a Democratic president in decades.

“This cycle, NewDems flipped six seats, protected 22 NewDem frontliners, and will soon welcome 17 new members to our Coalition in the 118th Congress. Under her leadership at the DCCC, there is no doubt we will build on these historic gains and win back the House in 2024,” Schneider concluded.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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