House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has tapped Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) to be the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2012 cycle when Democrats will look to regain seats after significant losses this year.
The move comes shortly after Pelosi was elected to be House Minority Leader in the next Congress.
In a statement, Pelosi praised Israel's ability to win districts in difficult territory.
"Steve Israel has demonstrated extraordinary capabilities in recruiting candidates, in attracting resources, and in communicating core Democratic values for middle class and working families," Pelosi said. "As DCCC Chairman, Congressman Israel's practical experience in running and winning in difficult districts will provide critical leadership for Democrats to regain the majority in 2012."
Israel was the frontrunner for the job and is considered one of the more politically savvy members in the caucus. Other names that were floated as possibilities included Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a rising star in the caucus, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Bruce Braley (D-Iowa). Israel, a close ally of Pelosi's, was the clear favorite throughout the process.
Israel will take over for Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who held the position for the last two cycles.
The New Yorker will face a very different playing field in 2012 because reapportionment following the 2010 census will redraw House districts -- some in significant ways. Managing that process will be one of the many responsibilities Israel will be tasked with in a cycle that offers Democrats some opportunities to win back control of the House, but also risk with certain members losing their seats in redrawn districts.
This post was updated at 4:15 p.m. with Pelosi's statement.