Van Hollen named to lead DCCC as Pelosi fin­ishes nam­ing chair­men

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Christina Bellantoni and Jon Ward

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi on Dec. 19 named Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Mary­land as chair­man of the Democrats’ cam­paign arm, com­plet­ing her ap­point­ments of her party’s lead­er­ship team as it as­sumes­the­con­gres­sion­al­ma­jor­ity next month.

Mr. Van Hollen, 47, will run the Demo­cratic Con­gres­sional Cam­paign Com­mit­tee (DCCC), which has the task of rais­ing funds and re­cruit­ing can­di­dates for the 2008 elec­tions in or­der to hold new Demo­cratic seats and in­crease the party’s num­bers in the House.

Mrs. Pelosi of Cal­i­for­nia said she was im­pressed by Mr. Van Hollen’s “depth of leg­isla­tive ex­pe­ri­ence and po­lit­i­cal savvy” and said she is con­fi­dent that he will help “strengthen our Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity” in his two-year term.

Mrs. Pelosi also made the last of the 22 com­mit­tee chair­man as­sign­ments, ap­point­ing Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio to lead the Houseethic­spanel,and­mak­ingthe ex­pected an­nounce­ments that Rep. Juani­taMil­len­der-McDon­ald­ofCal- ifor­nia will be chair­man of the House Ad­min­is­tra­tion Com­mit­tee and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York will be vice chair­man of the Joint Eco­nomic Com­mit­tee.

She also said Rep. Xavier Be­cerra of Cal­i­for­nia would serve as as­sis­tant to the speaker.

Mrs. Pelosi, who will be the first fe­male speaker in his­tory, noted the num­ber of women and eth­nic mi­nori­ties who will serve in chair­man­ships and lead­er­ship posts.

“With the strength of our Demo­cratic cau­cus rooted in our di­ver­sity, th­ese mem­bers will pro­vide a strong voice for all Amer­i­cans,” she said.

Mr. Van Hollen’s col­leagues said he is the right choice to lead ef­forts to keep a Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity be­yond two years. In this elec­tion cy­cle, he was co-chair­man of the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” fundrais­ing pro­gram for can­di­dates across the coun­try and also worked on re­cruit­ing strong cam­paign­ers to chal­lenge in­cum­bent Repub­li­cans.

Next month, he takes over the job from Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illi­nois,whomDemocrat­shave­cho­sen to lead their House party cau­cus. Mrs. Pelosi said she thinks Mr. Van Hollen will build upon the work done by Mr. Emanuel, who was widely cred­ited for help­ing the Democrats cap­ture more than 30 Repub­li­can-held seats in last month’s midterm elec­tions.

Mr. Emanuel praised his suc­ces­sor as hav­ing “an acute po­lit­i­cal ca­pac­ity rarely found in Wash­ing­ton,” and noted he con­sid­ered Mr. Van Hollen one of his “top lieu­tenants” and con­sulted him “in ev­ery crit­i­cal de­ci­sion I had to make.” The two men were in the same fresh­man class in 2003, af­ter Mr. Van Hollen un­seated long­time Repub­li­can in­cum­bent Rep. Con­stance A. Morella.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.