Politics: DCCC taps new executive director after summer staff upheaval - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsDCCC taps new executive director after summer staff upheaval

08:06  12 september  2019
08:06  12 september  2019 Source:   politico.com

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On Monday morning, Allison Jaslow, the DCCC ’s executive director and a close ally of Rep. And in the next 10 hours, much of the senior staff was out: Jared Smith, the communications director and another Bustos ally; Melissa Miller, a top DCCC communications aide; Molly Ritner, the political

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House Democrats’ embattled campaign arm has tapped a former staffer and well-known Democratic operative as its executive director following a massive upheaval in its top ranks earlier this summer.

DCCC taps new executive director after summer staff upheaval© Alex Wong/Getty Images Rep. Cheri Bustos (pictured) named veteran political strategist Lucinda Guinn to serve as the next Executive Director of the DCCC.

Lucinda Guinn, a former executive at EMILY’S List, will serve as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s top staffer. DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) informed the members of the decision Wednesday night.

Guinn, who is Hispanic, comes into the role after more than a month-long search following a mass exodus of senior staffers in July, including the former executive director Allison Jaslow. The upheaval followed outcry from Democrats over a lack of diversity at the campaign arm.

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Cheri Bustos, the new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairwoman, announced her senior staff hires for the 2020 cycle Thursday. Her campaign manager Allison Jaslow will be the committee’s executive director . The DCCC is shifting to defense in 2020 after flipping 40 seats to

On Monday morning, Allison Jaslow, DCCC executive director and a close ally of Rep. POLITICO reported last week that top lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus were furious with Bustos, saying she was short-changing minorities by excluding

"I have selected veteran political strategist Lucinda Guinn to serve as the next Executive Director of the DCCC," Bustos said in a letter to members obtained by POLITICO. "For those of you who don’t know Lucinda, she is a respected leader, manager and strategist with the right experience to help lead our efforts to protect and expand our majority and push even further into Republican territory."

The DCCC reviewed 40 resumes from around the country and interviewed 13 candidates. More than half were people of color and more than half were women. The search, Bustos wrote in the letter, “was truly a first-of-its-kind search that was the most competitive, open and inclusive in the committee’s history.”

Rep. Tony Cardenas, chair of BOLD Pac, the campaign arm for the Hispanic Caucus, praised the decision as a "historic moment for the DCCC."

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Newly elected Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Cheri Bustos has named Iraq combat veteran Allison Jaslow, her former chief of staff , as the committee's new executive director for the 2020 election cycle. Jaslow oversaw Bustos' first campaign in 2012

“A staff turnover of this magnitude seven months into the Democrats’ majority is jarring, and will present Bustos with a set of new challenges. She will be forced to rebuild the committee ’s top leadership from scratch in the middle of a presidential campaign that has much of the party’s best talent tied up.”

"Chairwoman Bustos ran an open and inclusive search process that resulted in the first Latina to permanently run the DCCC,” Cardenas said. “Lucinda has been an asset to BOLD PAC and as a Latina and a Texan, she’s in a great position to expand the map in a critical state."

More than a dozen House Democrats led by Cardenas wrote a letter earlier this month advocating for Guinn as the DCCC conducted its search for a new executive director, which included interviewing more than a dozen candidates over the August recess.

“As a Latina and a Texan, Lucinda has the political and lived experience to lead the party,” lawmakers wrote earlier this month, according to a copy of the BOLD Pac letter obtained by POLITICO, which was signed by 15 members including Reps. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.).

“It is paramount that Democrats retain the House and we need the experience, dedication and resolve that her leadership would bring to one of the most consequential elections of our lifetime," they added.

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The House Democrats' campaign arm is shaking up its staff in the wake of a dismal election cycle that led to vocal — and highly unusual — complaints from some lawmakers that Most notable among the changes, Luján tapped Dan Sena as the DCCC 's executive director heading into the 2018 midterms.

Some lawmakers with knowledge of the hiring privately praised Guinn, who they said already has strong relationships within the Democratic caucus.

Guinn worked at EMILY’s list for five years, serving as vice president and overseeing the powerhouse political action committee’s fundraising and campaign operations. She previously worked at DCCC as a political director and managed multiple political campaigns.

Guinn is currently senior vice president at the political firm 4CM+M and served as a general consultant for BOLD Pac, the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. BOLD Pac floated Guinn’s name to Latino members and asked for lawmakers to recommend additional Hispanic candidates for the DCCC to consider at the end of July. Subsequently, the Hispanic Caucus rallied around Guinn.

DCCC formed a 12-person advisory board, which included a dozen members and five technical experts who had experience with the campaign arm, to conduct the search and interviews.

Guinn’s hiring comes after a massive exodus in the upper ranks of the DCCC in late July after POLITICO detailed deep-rooted anger among Democrats over a lack of diversity at the campaign arm. Several black and Latino lawmakers detailed their concerns to POLITICO after months of privately clashing with Bustos.

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The lawmakers were furious that the senior leadership team at DCCC was stacked with Bustos allies — many of whom were white — despite previous promises by the Illinois Democrat to make diverse hiring a top priority when she took over the campaign arm.

In addition, members were alarmed that several of Bustos’ senior aides departed during the first half of this year, including her chief of staff — a black woman — and her director of mail and polling director, both women.

The outcry resulted in significant changes at the campaign arm – several senior staffers, including Jaslow resigned or were forced out in an effort to calm the fury in the days following POLITICO’s initial report.

Guinn was previously considered for the executive director position before Bustos ultimately tapped Jaslow, an Iraq war veteran and her former chief of staff, for the job in December.

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