Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel announced national committee chairs for the 2014 cycle at a Thursday press conference.
Colorado Rep. Jared Polis will serve as national chair for candidate services, Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz will be national finance chair, New York Rep. Joe Crowley will serve as the DC finance chair, and Rep. Jim Clyburn will be the national mobilization chair.
Last cycle, Polis chaired the "Red to Blue" program, Schwartz was national recruiting chair, and Crowley was national finance chair.
The DCCC also announced Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards to chair the recruitment committee, with Michigan Rep. Gary Peters to serve as vice chair, and Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz to chair the Frontline program. Additionally, finance vice chairs/business council chairs include Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, and Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell.
Israel focused on recruitment during the briefing. "the reason we picked up seats in 2012 is because we aggressively started recruiting in 2010," said Israel, who noted the committee was already having its third 2014 recruiting meeting next week.
Israel also made note of the Democratic caucus's diversity, making it notable that the DCCC tapped Edwards, an African-American woman, to chair its recruiting effort this time around. As Democrats try to make further gains in diverse areas of the country, they expect female and minority candidates to be critical to that effort, and it makes sense that they would highlight the caucus's diversity to potential candidates. (Edwards also distinguished herself as a recruiting vice chair last cycle, Israel said.)
Israel punctuated the committee’s focus on recruiting with one of his classic sports metaphors, in which he compared the DCCC's early recruiting effort to baseball: "Before the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs and 2 strikes, we were already figuring out our batting order for the next game."
The DCCC’s chairman roster also included two members often mentioned as statewide candidates: Schwartz in Pennsylvania and Peters in Michigan. Both have been discussed as potential 2014 gubernatorial contenders, and this may be an indication that they intend to stay in the House. Peters said after the briefing that it’s too early to even start thinking about that, noting that he has yet to even take office representing his new congressional district.
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