Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., is stepping down as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's chief fundraiser. She will be replaced by Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., a former Goldman Sachs executive.
Schwartz is exploring a run for Pennsylvania governor and, as National Journal reported last week, that ambition left House Democrats in a tough position. While Schwartz was tapped as the national finance chairwoman in December, it appeared unlikely she could focus on both helping the party and her own statewide run.
Last week, Schwartz's chief of staff said that the congresswoman had no intention of stepping down from the DCCC fundraising post soon. Schwartz had little incentive to do so; it opened up an entire national web of potential donor contacts. But the DCCC leadership had other plans.
Rep. Steve Israel of New York, the chairman of the DCCC, announced Himes as Schwartz's replacement Thursday morning, as first reported by Roll Call on Wednesday evening.
“The DCCC is in our best financial position in years, and Jim Himes is the right person to build on our terrific operation so that we can wage a strong battle to roll back the tea-party Republican House,” Israel said in a statement, thanking Schwartz "for her work giving us a strong start." He made no mention of her gubernatorial bid or why she was being replaced.
Himes, who represents affluent Greenwich outside of New York City, gives House Democrats an in with Wall Street. Himes worked for Goldman Sachs from 1990 to 2002, and is now in his third term in Congress.
The DCCC had $4.6 million cash on hand at the end of January, the most recent reporting period, and $12.6 million in debt, according to disclosures.
This article appears in the March 1, 2013 edition of NJ Daily.