Rep. Cheri Bustos, the new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairwoman, announced her senior staff hires for the 2020 cycle Thursday. Her campaign manager Allison Jaslow will be the committee’s executive director.
The DCCC is shifting to defense in 2020 after flipping 40 seats to take over the House. The committee will be tasked with protecting vulnerable new members, including 31 Democrats running for re-election in districts President Donald Trump won in 2016.
Bustos, whose northern Illinois district Trump won by less than 1 point in 2016, has billed herself as a Democrat who knows how to win over Trump supporters.
She is bringing over veterans of her own team, including Jaslow, to the DCCC. She is also elevating staffers from the successful 2018 committee, including two African-American staffers who were key to the committee’s diversity and digital efforts.
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“America’s strength has always come from our diversity,” Bustos said. “That’s why I’m committed to building a leadership team that reflects the tremendous diversity of our House Democrats and our nation.”
Both House campaign committees will now have women executive directors. Jaslow’s counterpart at the National Republican Congressional Committee will be Parker Hamilton Poling, who has served as chief of staff for North Carolina GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry.
Jaslow is an Iraq War veteran who managed Bustos’ first campaign in 2012 when she unseated Illinois GOP Rep. Bobby Schilling. She worked as Bustos’ first chief of staff and was recently the head of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
In a statement announcing the senior staff, Bustos credited Jaslow with helping her secure a swing seat. Bustos won re-election in 2018 by 24 points against a Republican opponent with minimal campaign funds.
Bustos is also bringing her deputy chief of staff and spokesman Jared Smith to the DCCC, where he will serve as the committee’s communications director. Smith assisted Bustos’ work on the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
Two DCCC staffers from the 2018 team will also be promoted. Jalisa Washington-Price, who directed the DCCC’s Office of Diversity in 2018, will be the new chief of staff. She also helped manage the committee’s $30 million “Year of Engagement” effort to connect with minority voters.
Ryan Thompson will serve as the DCCC’s next digital director after serving as the deputy director in 2018. He was also a leader in the “Year of Engagement” effort. According to the press announcement, Thompson oversaw a $15 million budget to build the committee’s email list, which in turn raised $106 million for the DCCC in the 2018 cycle.
“The DCCC did amazing work in 2018 to win 40 seats,” Bustos said in a statement. “Our challenge is to build on that progress, to fortify and expand our majority.”