The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced a new executive chair Wednesday amid a bitter internal battle over the campaign wing’s lack of diversity, which resulted in a mass exodus over the summer.
DCCC chair Cheri Bustos (D-IL) informed the committee in a letter Wednesday evening that Lucinda Guinn will replace Allison Jaslow, who left her post during an emergency meeting in July. Guinn, who is Hispanic, is a former executive at EMILY’s List, according to Politico.
“I have selected veteran political strategist Lucinda Guinn to serve as the next Executive Director of the DCCC,” Bustos told members, according to 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,” Bustos continued.
As Breitbart News reported, the DCCC experienced what was dubbed a “Monday Night Massacre” in July, with tensions over the committee’s purported lack of diversity boiling over, causing many top staffers to quit in dramatic fashion.
“There is not one person of color — black or brown, that I’m aware of — at any position of authority or decision making in the DCCC,” Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) remarked. “It is shocking, it is shocking, and something needs to be done about it.”
“We do not support Cheri Bustos as leader of the DCCC,” Justice Democrats spokesman Waleed Shahid said.
To address the concerns from disgruntled Democrats – specifically Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus members – Bustos asked members for guidance and input in the DCCC’s search for a new executive director.
“We are moving quickly to fill this role, but we will do so in a way that honors the values of the most diverse House Democratic Caucus in U.S. history,” Bustos wrote. “I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions.”
Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) served on Bustos’s advisory council and praised her for demonstrating a commitment to diversity.
“It takes guts to admit you’ve messed up, and there is no one who can question that Cheri Bustos is owning where she fell short and working to make the DCCC an organization we can all be proud of,” he said, according to Politico.
The search for the executive director involved dozens of resumes, and the DCCC ultimately interviewed 13 individuals. “More than half were people of color and more than half were women,” Politico reported.
Members seem pleased by the choice.
Rep. Tony Cardenas, chair of BOLD Pac, the campaign arm for the Hispanic Caucus, praised the decision as a “historic moment for the DCCC.”
“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.).
They continued, “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.”
Guinn is hardly a new face to the DCCC, as she served as a political director and “managed multiple political campaigns,” Politico reported.