Campaign chairmen shuffle for 2016
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The 2014 elections aren’t quite wrapped up yet, but the jockeying for 2016 has already begun. 

Three of the four congressional committees will have new chairmen in the coming weeks, as House and Senate Democratic leaders look to pick new campaign heads and Senate Republicans move to select a leader to replace current National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (Kan.).


Here’s a look at how those races are shaping up.


The battle to be National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman is the best defined and likely the first to be decided as Senate Republicans seek to hold on to their newfound majority. 

2016 won’t be an easy task though: Republicans are defending 24 seats to Democrats’ 10, including races in blue and purple states they won in 2010 such as Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Florida.

Sens. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerSenators vet Buttigieg to run Transportation Department Wall Street Journal: GOP Electoral College 'stunt' will hurt US, Republican Party Bipartisan group of senators: The election is over MORE (Miss.) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (Nev.) are squaring off to lead the committee. Both are making moves for the slot and have been calling colleagues for a vote that will take place Thursday morning.

Wicker has been quietly lobbying for the job for weeks, sending a letter to his GOP colleagues on the day after the elections laying out his credentials. That includes the $2.2 million he raised for the committee this cycle and the $1 million he helped bring in for his home-state colleague Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom line Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Hyde-Smith fends off challenge from Espy in Mississippi MORE (Miss.) as Cochran pulled off a come-from-behind primary runoff win.

“Our first objective should be to protect the majority and ensure that Republican seats stay Republican,” Wicker wrote in the letter to his colleagues. “I know that one of the keys to achieving that objective will be a concerted effort to raise early money and a lot of it, creating as clear a path as possible to the nomination, and having everyone in the Republican Conference involved and committed to keeping the majority.”

A strike against Wicker, however, is that the Magnolia State doesn’t have a big donor base. But the senator does have close ties to influential former Republican National Committee Chairman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, which could be a boon for his fundraising pitch to members and the network he could bring to the job.

Heller hasn’t been as public about his push but has been quietly talking to his colleagues as well. He has close ties to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a top GOP recruiting target as they hope to knock soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader Biden faces tall order in uniting polarized nation Senators vet Mayorkas to take lead at DHS MORE (D-Nev.) from office. The Nevadan also has good relationships with GOP mega-donors Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn.


Reid will pick the replacement for outgoing Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Chairman Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetTop Democrat pushes for tying unemployment insurance to economic conditions 50-50 Senate opens the door to solutions outlasting Trump's moment of violence Build trust in vaccines by investing in community workers MORE (Colo.), just as the two gear up for what could be competitive reelections of their own.

Sens. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsDemocrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts Senators introduce bill to award Officer Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal Senate chaos threatens to slow Biden's agenda MORE (Del.) and Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster 50-50 Senate opens the door to solutions outlasting Trump's moment of violence Biden VA pick faces 'steep learning curve' at massive agency MORE (Mont.) are both in the mix, with Coons publicly mulling interest in the position and Tester’s office not denying rumors that he’s interested.

“Coons and Tester are actively talking to people about doing it,” said one Democratic aide.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts A Day in Photos: The Biden Inauguration Senators vet Buttigieg to run Transportation Department MORE (Minn.) is also thought of as a potential candidate, though she hasn’t publicly showed any interest.

Spokesmen for Reid, Coons and Klobuchar didn’t return requests for comment. Tester Communications Director Marneé Banks said, “At this time we don’t have a comment about the DSCC rumors that are circulating.”

It’s unclear when Reid will make his selection, though it could come during Thursday’s leadership elections.


With current Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman (DCCC) Steve Israel (N.Y.) passing on a third term, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) will choose the next chairman, who has the unenviable task of trying to lead the Democrats out of the minority. 

It’s unclear whom she’s leaning toward, and Pelosi’s office is not commenting on potential candidates. An aide said she’s “keeping this decision close to her vest” and indicated a decision wouldn’t be announced until after she wins reelection as minority leader next Tuesday.

The long list of potential names includes Reps. Jim Himes (Conn.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Jared Polis (Colo.) and Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelHow Congress dismissed women's empowerment Frankel defeats Loomer in Florida House race Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage MORE (Fla.), all of whom have held previous leadership roles with the DCCC. Rep. Joaquín Castro (Texas), a fast-rising freshman, is also in the mix, while fellow freshman Rep. Joseph Kennedy (Mass.) has been mentioned as well.

Whoever wins will likely have a better climate in 2016 to help Democrats climb out of, at least, a 28-seat hole. With fewer swing districts and a gerrymandered map, however, it’s still a tough road for Democrats to win back a majority any time soon.  


National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) has already announced his plans to stay on for another term, and his potential opponents have faded into the woodwork following the GOP’s big wins last week.

Freshman Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Trump Georgia call divides House GOP Biden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver MORE (Texas), who’d threatened to challenge Walden, called him up after the elections to congratulate him and say he wouldn’t be mounting a challenge. Rep. Aaron Schock (Ill.) had also been rumored to be interested in a bid, but has made little noise about that for some time, and no other candidate has stepped forward.

Assuming Walden retains his position, he’ll be tasked with defending the party’s largest majority in nearly a century in a year not likely to be as hospitable to the GOP as this one was. A top goal will be to catch up to the DCCC’s online fundraising prowess.