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New DCCC Chairman Eyes Current Executive Director

Ward served as the DCCC's executive director in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Ward served as the DCCC's executive director in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Incoming Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján said Tuesday he hopes the current Executive Director, Kelly Ward, will stay on for the 2016 cycle.  

House Democrats endured sweeping losses in 2014, but Ward earned top praise from Luján, who said she is respected by the caucus.  

“I have tremendous respect for Kelly Ward,” Luján told CQ Roll Call in a Tuesday interview. “It’s been an honor working with her throughout the years, getting to know her, she reaches out to members, she respects members, and I think she’s incredible. So someone like Kelly, if not Kelly herself is someone that I hope that we would serve.”  

Ward just finished her third cycle at the committee. She served as incumbent retention director toward the end of 2010. In 2012, she was promoted to political director. DCCC Chairman Steve Israel asked Ward to serve as executive director  in 2014.  

If Ward is offered and accepts the executive director role, she will again start the Hurculean task of winning the majority for House Democrats.  

In 2014, Republicans netted at least 12 seats, with a few races still too close to call. That puts Democrats even further into the minority.  

The 2016 cycle is slated to be a better political environment for Democrats. But with the large number losses, it will be difficult for Democrats to regain control of the chamber before the next redistricting round after 2020.  

Ward was non-committal when asked whether she is open to another cycle as executive director.  

“I’m honored by Chairman Luján’s confidence and faith, especially because he will be such an impressive leader in his new role,” Ward said in a statement via a DCCC spokeswoman.  


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