Two California congressmen are vying to lead the campaign arm of House Democrats, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), as the party aims to regain a majority in the House next election cycle.
The job is up for grabs after veteran Democratic congressman and current DCCC chairman Sean Patrick Maloney was ousted by a Republican challenger on better-than-expected election night for Democrats, who were anticipating double-digit House losses.
The next DCCC chair-elect, to be voted on on Wednesday, November 30, will be in charge of leading the Democratic Party’s efforts to regain the House majority in 2024, when all 435 House seats will be up for re-election once plus.
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One of the California congressmen seeking the job is Rep. Tony Cárdenas, who announced his candidacy in a letter the Friday after Election Day.
Cárdenas is supported by 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 trouble in the past. He was embroiled in a 2018 lawsuit in which a young woman claimed Cardenas molested her when she was 16 in a 2007 incident, though the lawsuit was dropped with prejudice and no money was exchanged, according to a Los Angeles Times report. 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 his fellow House Democrats shortly after Election Day, touting his experience advocating for districts in quarrel.
Bera has chaired DCCC’s “Frontline Program,” which supports Democrats’ most vulnerable candidates and turned his historically purple district upside down with his election to office.
“I oversaw efforts to protect 39 of our most vulnerable House candidates. In 2022, we won 35 of these seats, helping prevent a ‘red wave’ and putting Democrats in a strong position going into 2024.” Bera told Fox News Digital.
Bera has also faced past controversies. In 2016, Bera’s father was sentenced to prison for funneling money to his son’s campaign, though Bera denied any knowledge of the money-laundering scheme, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
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Outgoing DCCC Chairman Maloney, who has served in New York’s 18th Congressional District since 2013, was defeated by his Republican challenger, State Assemblyman Mike Lawler, in a historic loss on election day.
Maloney came under fire ahead of the midterms for suggesting that families struggling with the impacts 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.