Faced with an extremely tough playing field and environment, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is making key staffing moves heading into the six-month home stretch of the 2010 cycle.
DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) will announce Monday that the committee’s political director, Robby Mook, will move over to run the independent expenditure operation, and Incumbent Retention Director Jennifer Pihlaja will take over as political director.
In addition, former DCCC Executive Director and IE Director John Lapp has been hired to serve as senior adviser to the IE program.
Pihlaja is in her second cycle at the DCCC and in 2008 was the committee’s Midwest regional political director. Before that she served in the political department at EMILY’s List.
Mook joined the committee at the beginning of 2009 after serving as now-Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-N.H.) campaign manager in the 2008 cycle. Previously, he worked for then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) presidential primary bid in Nevada, Ohio and Indiana. He also has had campaign experience in Virginia, Wisconsin and Maryland.
Lapp served as the DCCC ED during the 2006 cycle and later as the committee’s IE director. He served as a chief media consultant to the committee during the 2008 cycle and currently works as a partner at Ralston Lapp Media. Lapp’s résumé also includes overseeing the 2002 re-election campaign of then-Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) in Iowa and heading the 2004 presidential campaign of former Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) in the Hawkeye State. He has also held top staff positions for Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and former Rep. Ken Lucas (D-Ky.).
“Jennifer and Robby are battle-tested political pros that will ensure our campaigns and the independent expenditure run aggressive races,” Van Hollen said in a statement the committee will release Monday. “John is one of the best strategists in House politics, and will provide critical support to the DCCC’s Independent Expenditure campaign in a difficult cycle.”