Politics

DCCC Announces 2018 Leadership Team

Expanded team includes returning members and some fresh faces

Washington Rep. Denny Heck will return as DCCC recruitment chairman for the 2018 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján announced his leadership team for the 2018 cycle on Thursday.

The 20-person team, shared first with Roll Call, is an expanded group from previous cycles. 

“We have hit the ground running this cycle and have already started strengthening our committee to protect incumbents and maximize gains on an expanded battlefield,” Luján said. Late last month, the DCCC released an initial list of 59 seats it plans to target in 2018, including some districts carried last fall by President Donald Trump.

“Every member of our leadership team knows that House Democrats are on offense and they are committed to channeling the grassroots energy we see across the country into wins at the ballot box,” Luján said.

As he did during the 2016 cycle, Washington Rep. Denny Heck will chair the committee’s recruitment efforts for 2018. Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark will serve as recruitment vice-chairwoman. 

Virginia Rep. Don Beyer Jr. will return as finance chairman, joined by Washington Rep. Suzan DelBene as co-chairwoman. 

At the helm of the DCCC’s Frontline Program for vulnerable members will be a 2016 Frontline member, New Hampshire’s Ann McLane Kuster. The 2nd District Democrat is on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s 2018 list of targeted members released this week. 

Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky returns as national chairwoman for candidate services. 

The committee’s WomenLEAD program, which encourages women to run for office, will have three co-chairwomen, including Florida Rep. Val Demings, the only freshman to score a spot on the DCCC’s leadership team. She’ll be joined by Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell and Florida Rep. Lois Frankel, who have long been active in recruiting and mentoring female candidates

The Tribal Engagement & Active Members, or TEAM, program also has three c0-chairmen, which include Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee and California Reps. Raul Ruiz and Norma J. Torres

Chairing the Partners & Allies Council, which works with businesses and PACs, will be Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, Massachusetts Rep. Richard E. Neal, Alabama Rep. Terri A. Sewell and Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro.

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan and Virginia Rep. Robert C. Scott will co-chair the Labor Council, while Colorado Rep. Jared Polis and California Rep. Mark Takano head up the LGBT Caucus. 

House Democrats are in Baltimore this week for their annual retreat. On Thursday, they’re expected to hear an assessment of what the party could have done better in 2016 and what’s in store for 2018. In response to post-election grumbling from members about the DCCC, New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has been conducting a review of the committee and the party’s electoral efforts, the preliminary results of which will be shared with members Thursday. 

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.