Congress

Democrats disappointed, but House campaign leadership likely stays the same

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., joined by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., discusses election results.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., joined by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., discusses election results. AP

Democrats may have been disappointed with their showing in congressional races last month, but it looks as though Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., will once again lead the party’s congressional campaign arm.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., had considered a challenge to head the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but will instead review possible changes. Initial findings are expected to be presented when House Democrats meet at their issues retreat in February.

Democrats had a net gain of six House seats, leaving the party with 194 of the 435 seats in the next Congress.

Complaints about the election effort helped spark a challenge by Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, to Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s leadership of the House Democrats. Pelosi won, but promised changes.

Lujan, too, said he would be more receptive to members’ concerns. “You are all experts, and I’ve already relied on many of you to inform DCCC strategies,” he told colleagues in a letter. “We must continue to do that, but in a more expansive manner.”

He also said he’s discussed “increasing member involvement at the committee and improving transparency of its operations and investments. We have discussed the need to review polling that is conducted inside and outside of the DCCC, and how consultants interface with our campaigns.”

One of the major complaints about the committee’s work was that it relied too heavily on consultants and not on members’ input and instincts.

Lujan is expected to be formally chosen to head the committee again when Democrats meet next week.

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid

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