September 16, 2021

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House Dems pick moderate New Yorker to lead campaign arm

WASHINGTON — Democrats picked Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on Thursday to lead their campaign organization into the 2022 elections, choosing a lawmaker from a Trump-friendly district over a top House Hispanic after last month’s voting dealt them unexpected losses and left them divided over the reasons.

Maloney, 54 and openly gay, is a four-term veteran from a mid-Hudson Valley district in New York that Donald Trump carried in 2016. He will chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in a cycle that should be challenging for his party.

Democrats lost seats in last month’s elections, and midterm congressional elections of newly elected presidents like President-elect Joe Biden are historically difficult for the party that controls the White House.

House Democrats elected Maloney over Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., by 119-107, according to a Democrat familiar with the voting. Cardenas, 57, is a four-term House lawmaker who has led BOLD PAC, the fundraising arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Democrats went into November’s month’s elections with a 232-197 House majority, with an independent and five vacancies, and expectations that they would gain seats.

While the party is assured of retaining House control next year, they will have a far smaller majority. A dozen Democratic incumbents were defeated, and another may lose with a handful of races still uncalled. No Republican incumbents were defeated.

Since last month, Democrats have argued internally over why they lost seats in an election many from both parties thought would see Democratic gains of perhaps 15 seats. The party did worse than expected in many suburban districts that are home to moderate voters, and among Hispanic voters in places like South Florida.

– 107 Cardenas

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