The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday announced the election of its five new regional vice chairmen, completing a months-long process of the House Democrats’ expansion of their leadership circle to include more perspectives after the 2016 election disappointment.
Some Democrats have pointed to the DCCC as one of the reasons the party’s messaging last year failed to win them as many House seats as they had been projecting. They’ve said the campaign arm did not do enough to reach voters in middle America, particularly Rust Belt areas where jobs are a primary concern.
The idea of regional vice chairmen arose in response to those criticisms.
The elected vice chairmen are Reps. Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts for Region 1, A. Donald McEachin of Virginia for Region 2, Betty McCollum of Minnesota for Region 3, Jared Polis of Colorado for Region 4, and Ted Lieu of California for Region 5.
“With the election of five new regional vice chairs, we will have more hands on deck in the DCCC’s effort to go on offense with recruitment and Republican accountability, all across the map,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján said in a statement.
The creation of the positions is also part of House Democrats’ efforts to build a more inclusive leadership team. Since last December, Democrats have been working to create new opportunities for rank-and-file members to serve in leadership, expanding the leadership of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, adding posts for a freshman and a member who’s served five terms or less, and creating vice ranking member spots on committees.
“We have hit the ground running this cycle, including taking concrete steps to protect incumbents and maximize gains on an expanded battlefield,” Luján said. “Each of these regional vice-chairs is deeply committed to channeling the grassroots energy into recruiting and supporting great candidates in 2018, and I’m appreciative that they’ve stepped forward.”