House Dems likely to keep NM lawmaker as campaign chief

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2016 2:50 PM
House Dems likely to keep NM lawmaker as campaign chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats will likely keep the leader of their campaign organization in his job, even though they're frustrated with their disappointing Election Day showing.

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Lujan headed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the just-ended elections. The party gained six House seats, below expectations and well short of the 30 pickups they needed to win control of the chamber.

House Democrats this week re-elected Californian Nancy Pelosi as minority leader. But one-third of Democrats opposed her, and they voted to make the campaign committee chair an elected job, instead of letting Pelosi appoint the person.

Several lawmakers blamed their poor election showing on bad tactics and ineffective consultants, not on Lujan, who has no publicly declared opponents.

"We're not winning, clearly," said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi for her job. "I don't think there's any strategy for millennials, we're working from an old model, we think that just TV ads work, our message was off."

In a letter to colleagues Friday, Lujan said the DCCC "outperformed a tough national environment in 2016, but that's not enough and we can always do better."

Pelosi, who appointed Lujan last year, said his "inclusive leadership gives our members and candidates the strongest foundation to make their case to the American people."

Democrats set their election for campaign chief for Monday.