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.
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.
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.
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.