Two California congressmen vie to replace outgoing DCCC chair after Maloney’s historic midterm loss
Two California congressmen are vying to lead House Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), as the party looks to regain its majority in the House next election cycle.
The position is up for grabs after Democratic congressman and current DCCC chairman Sean Patrick Maloney was unseated by a Republican challenger in a better-than-expected election night for Democrats, who were anticipating double-digit losses in the House.
The next DCCC chair-elect, who will be voted on Wednesday, Nov. 30, will be tasked with leading the Democratic Party’s efforts to regain the House majority in 2024, when all 435 House seats are up for re-election.
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One of the California congressmen seeking office is Rep. Tony Cárdenas, who announced his candidacy in a letter the Friday after Election Day.
Cárdenas has the support of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), which previously chaired the CHC’s campaign arm and raised more than $35 million, according to Cárdenas’ letter.
The California congressman has found himself in some hot water in the past. He was embroiled in a lawsuit in 2018 in which a young woman claimed Cárdenas molested her when she was 16 in a 2007 incident, though the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice and no money was exchanged, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. Cárdenas has vehemently denied these accusations.
The other California congressman vying to replace Maloney is Rep. Ami Bera, who announced his intentions in a letter to Democratic House colleagues shortly after Election Day, touting his experience advocating for battlefield districts.
Bera has chaired the DCCC’s “Frontline Program,” which supports Democrats’ most vulnerable candidates, and turned his historically purple district around with his election to office.
“I oversaw efforts to protect 39 of our most vulnerable House candidates. In 2022, we won 35 of those seats, helping prevent a ‘red tide’ and putting Democrats in a strong position heading into 2024,” Bera told Fox News Digital.
Bera has also faced controversies in the past. In 2016, Bera’s father was sentenced to prison for funneling money to his son’s campaign, though Bera denied knowledge of the money-laundering scheme, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
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Retired DCCC chairman Maloney, who has served in New York’s 18th Congressional District since 2013, was defeated by his GOP challenger, state Assemblyman Mike Lawler, in a historic loss on election day.
Maloney was criticized before the semi-final for suggesting that families struggling with the effects of inflation eat Chef Boyardee, while also traveling to high-end European cities over the summer to raise funds for House Democrats.
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Rep. Cárdenas did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.