The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday named Jessica Mackler director of its independent expenditure arm for 2018. She’s the first woman to hold the position.
Mackler joins the DCCC from American Bridge 21st Century, the Democratic opposition research firm. She started as campaign director and moved up to chief operating officer and president of the organization.
She managed former Rep. Shelley Berkley’s Senate race in Nevada in 2012, which Berkley narrowly lost. In 2010, Mackler managed former Maryland Rep. Frank Kratovil’s losing re-election campaign.
A veteran of EMILY’s List, she co-founded Athena Group, one of the few female-owned opposition research firms. She served as research and rapid response director for former Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu’s 2008 campaign.
“She blends a campaign veteran and top-notch researcher with the experience running a large organization — those are three critical skills you need to be successful in this job,” said Jesse Ferguson, the DCCC’s IE director during the 2014 cycle.
“The DCCC IE job takes a blend of strategic insight to do the right things and operational savvy to get it done. She’s demonstrated she has that,” Ferguson added.
Democrats must gain 24 seats to win control of the House in 2018.
“The DCCC IE will play a critical role helping win back the House this cycle and I’m excited to lead a team ready to go on offense in an expanding field of competitive races,” Mackler said in a statement.
“We will be relentless in our work defending our hardworking incumbents and defining our opponents during one of the most important elections of our lifetime,” Mackler added.
DCCC executive director Dan Sena praised Mackler’s previous work running IE campaigns and growing American Bridge.
“I have a great deal of faith that Jessica understands the new political frontier our country faces, and will take a fresh look at the battlefield and how to litigate congressional campaigns in the unique 2018 landscape,” Sena said in a statement.
Ty Matsdorf, another veteran of American Bridge, served as the committee’s IE director during the 2016 cycle.