After two election cycles as the executive director of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, Kelly Ward has a new challenge: helping to lead a coordinated Democratic redistricting effort ahead of new map drawings following the 2020 census.
Ward will be the interim executive director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group led by President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
A native of Las Vegas, Ward largely earned her chops in Arizona politics before emerging as a top campaign aide on the national stage, becoming the first person to spend two consecutive elections as the top staffer at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“Fair redistricting represents one of the most important turning points for the future of our nation,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “As the Interim Executive Director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Kelly Ward has the trust of House Democrats and brings a wealth of electoral experience that will be vital to Democrats’ redistricting strategy.”
Her move to the committee was reported Wednesday morning by Politico. A spokesman for the redistricting organization confirmed the move.
While the DCCC drew criticism from some members of the House Democratic caucus, supporters say that the efforts of Ward and Chairman Ben Ray Luján helped House Democrats gain seats despite what turned out to be a tough election year for Democrats.
In talking about what motivated her to get into politics when she was in college, she told Roll Call in a 2013 profile: “It really matters who is in office,” Ward said. “It’s the most efficient and high-impact way to make a difference.”