Politics

Sean Patrick Maloney Fourth Candidate to Enter DCCC Chair Race

N.Y. Democrat joins Bustos, DelBene and Heck in race for campaign chief

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., is running to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on Saturday became the fourth candidate to enter the race to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee heading into the 2020 cycle. 

The position to head up the House Democrats’ campaign arm is quickly becoming the most coveted leadership slot, even though the party will be defending a number of seats in traditionally Republican districts in two years time. The current DCCC chairman, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján — coming off a strong midterm election that has seen the party pick up over 30 seats and take back the House — is running for assistant Democratic leader.

Maloney will be running against Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, who entered the race Friday after dropping a bid for assistant leader, and Washington Reps. Suzan DelBene and Denny Heck, who separately announced bids Wednesday

All of the candidates have experiences working with the DCCC in leadership capacities.  

After the Democrats’ losses in the 2016 cycle, Maloney suggested there needed to be serious scrutiny of the committee’s operations and called for changes to be implemented quickly to prepare for the 2018 cycle. He led a five-month “Deep Dive” into the DCCC that led to dozens of changes across all areas of the committee’s operations. 

“These reforms played a role in helping to create the stronger DCCC that won the majority,” Maloney said in a “Dear Colleague” letter announcing his bid for DCCC chairman. “No other candidate has a more extensive knowledge of the DCCC, its $250 million budget, personnel structure and national operations than I do. Nor would any other candidate better understand the next generation of reforms we must implement.”

Maloney also touted three other strengths he said he’d bring to the job: fundraising, including relationships with major New York and national donors and a plan to expand the party’s small-donor network; his ability to coach and recruit candidates in tough districts given his experience beating a Republican incumbent and holding a district that voted for President Donald Trump; and communication skills and experience with new media, digital targeting and data mining.

Maloney defeated Republican James O’Connell by 10 points Tuesday to win a fourth term representing New York’s 18th District, which backed Trump by 2 points in 2016. His win came on the heels of a failed bid for state attorney general this year. 

Watch: With the Midterms Over, Get Ready for Investigation Nation and Congressional Gridlock

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.