Pete Sessions Outlines 2012 NRCC Strategy
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) is telling his House Republicans he should keep his job as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee for two more years because he managed to pull off a feat many said was “impossible” when he took the position in January 2009.
In a letter asking for support, Sessions outlined his strategy for the next two years: retaining new seats, winning redistricting battles at the state level, recruiting new Republicans to run against the top Democratic targets and raising enough money to stay competitive during a presidential election cycle.
“Our incoming Republican freshman class is the largest since 1938,” Sessions wrote.
“Simply as a function of its size, this class will have specific needs that the NRCC must meet so that they can hit the ground running and are prepared to explain their goals and achievements to voters and to play offense in advance of next election,” he wrote. “The NRCC will work with each incoming Member to develop an individualized strategic and tactical plan for coalition-building and outreach in advance of a new electoral playing field in the redistricting and presidential election year of 2012. We will also build upon the successful mentorship program that benefitted our freshmen as candidates, and continue their development as legislators and new members of the House Republican team.”
On redistricting, Sessions wrote that the NRCC’s program “for understanding each state’s redistricting process and working with state legislators to prepare for them” will continue so the Republicans can “maximize our advantage.” (Our coverage of GOP gains in statehouses affecting redistricting is here and here.)
Sessions said “many opportunities remain where solid recruitment will make a difference,” especially in districts Sen. John McCain won in 2008 but which still have Democratic Members.
He also lauded the party committee’s ability to woo wealthy donors giving $25,000 or more. “Our newest Members will help to build upon our current major donor and regional fundraising strategy successes,” he wrote. “Our increased membership and fundraising advantages also mean that we will be able to continue playing offense.”
Sessions’ official request of support to his Republican colleagues came two days after announcing he wants to remain chairman for another cycle.
“In January of 2009, many around Washington and in the national media spread the idea that regaining the majority was impossible — that our Republican vision of limited government, personal freedom and fiscal responsibility was obsolete,” Sessions wrote. “Thankfully, I was not the only person who disagreed with the conventional wisdom and believed these reports of Republican demise to be greatly premature.”
The letter is largely ceremonial, as no one else has stepped forward to challenge him for the role. Sessions took over the NRCC after two straight cycles of Democratic gains in the House, and he helped lead the party’s team, which posted a net gain of at least 60 seats to take the majority.