Grossman Resigns DSCC Post

Posted January 13, 2004 at 10:45am

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Andy Grossman has resigned his post, and David Rudd, a former chief of staff to Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.), will take over as the committee’s top staffer.

“The opportunity to join the battle for control of the Senate is one I welcome,” said Rudd. “I’m looking forward to the fight and the victory this fall.”

Rudd is currently a partner in the Palmettto Group, a Democratic consulting firm. He spent 15 years with Hollings in a variety of posts, including a stint running the Senator’s successful re-election race in 1998. Hollings is one of five Southern Democrats retiring in 2004.

He also has a strong relationship with Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). Rudd’s wife worked for Daschle for a number of years.

DSCC Chairman Jon Corzine (N.J.) called Grossman’s departure and Rudd’s hiring “bittersweet.”

“Andy Grossman is a consummate professional who has devoted five years of his life to the DSCC and the Democratic Caucus,” said Corzine.

Grossman had worked at the committee since the 2000 cycle, when he was deputy executive director. He moved up to political director the following cycle and was chosen to head the committee in December 2002.

But Grossman and DSCC Chairman Jon Corzine (N.J.) had a strained relationship that progressively worsened over the past several months, Democratic sources said.

Grossman’s future is not clear.

Some have speculated that he will remain involved in helping raise money for Senate races while others expect him to join one of the presidential campaigns — possible that of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

He would not comment for this story.

The DSCC met with mixed results in 2003 as it brought in several high-profile recruits — including former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum — but struggled to raise money under the constraints of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.

Under BCRA, the party campaign committees are banned from raising and spending soft money, a form of contribution the DSCC had become more and more dependent on since the 1996 cycle.

Through November, the DSCC had raised $19 million compared to $24 million for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. But the DSCC had just $731,000 on hand at the end, while the NRSC had roughly $7.5 million in the bank.

Amid this financial turmoil, the DSCC was plagued by retirements by five Southern Senators, creating open seats in a region that has grown less and less hospitable to Democrats.

Along with Hollings, Sens. John Breaux (La.), Zell Miller (Ga.), John Edwards (N.C.) and Bob Graham (Fla.) are all bowing out.

Republicans are facing two retirements: Sens. Peter Fitzgerald (Ill.) and Don Nickles (Okla.).