DSCC Senior Staff Stays Put
New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the newly-chosen chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has convinced the committee's top two staffers from the 2008 election to stay on for another election cycle, according to party sources familiar with the decision.
J.B. Poersch, who as executive director in 2006 and 2008 oversaw a 13-seat Democratic gain in the Senate, and political director Martha McKenna, will both remain in their current roles for the 2010 election. Matt Miller, the communications director for the committee, has yet to decide his next move; Tom Lopach, the committee's finance director, is moving on.
"I am thrilled to have the seasoned team that led such a successful cycle in 2008 back to help us strengthen our Democratic majority in 2010," said Menendez about the moves.
The joint decisions by Poersch and McKenna ensure a smooth transition from Sen. Chuck Schumer's (N.Y.) stewardship over the DSCC over the last four years and the coming Menendez regime.
That sort of continuity was the hallmark of the Republican party campaign committees earlier this decade and was cited by many knowledgeable politicos as one of the reasons the GOP made gains in the House and Senate during the early 2000s.
Given the fundraising, staffing and infrastructure demands that are put on these campaign committees in the space of less than two years, the more institutional knowledge in the building at the start of the cycle, the better.
House Republicans appear to have learned that lesson after a tough 2008 election, retaining Ken Spain as communications director and Brian Walsh as political director at the committee.
On its face, the 2010 cycle should be another good one for Senate Democrats. Nineteen Republicans are up for reelection as compared to just 15 Democrats.
Two GOP-held seats -- Florida and Kansas -- will be vacant in 2010 and Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) has all but said she will resign from the chamber to run for governor.
Democrats will have to contend with electing or reelecting appointed senators in New York, Delaware and Colorado as well as a royal mess in Illinois. But, few of the party's incumbents are in any real trouble at the moment.
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