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NRCC Names New Executive Director for 2016

Walden is the NRCC's chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee has promoted Rob Simms to serve as executive director in 2016.  

Simms — who served as the NRCC's political director in the 2014 cycle — will take over for Liesl Hickey as the top staffer at the committee. He will be tasked with helping protect the GOP's record-breaking wins  from last cycle.  

“Rob was instrumental in helping us win this historic majority and now he’s going to lead our efforts to keep it and help Members build the best campaigns possible,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon said in a release.  

Though Hickey is stepping down, Walden announced she will stay on as a senior adviser in the 2016 cycle.  

“Liesl Hickey did a tremendous job this cycle securing a historic majority and I’m thrilled she will continue to be a part of the team in 2016," Walden said. "Her new role as Senior Advisor will allow us to focus her time on what she does best — winning in competitive districts.”  

In 2014, House Republicans picked up a net of at least 12 seats, with the race in Arizona's 2nd District headed to a recount. Republican Martha E. McSally leads Democratic Rep. Ron Barber by 161 votes in that contest.  

In 2016, the NRCC will shift to defense , seeking to protect the seats it picked up in Democratic-leaning territory when a different electorate heads to the polls.  

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