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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 12/22/2010

Guy Cecil to lead Democratic Senate Campaign Committee

By Chris Cillizza

Longtime operative Guy Cecil will be the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2012 election, charged with holding a potentially tenuous majority for his party.

"Guy is uniquely qualified to lead our efforts to keep Democrats in control of the US Senate," said DSCC Chairwoman Senator Patty Murray (Wash.).

Cecil's hiring comes after J.B. Poersch, who had served as the top staffer at the DSCC for the last three election cycles, informed Murray that he would not remain at the committee through 2012.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) praised Poersch as a "brilliant strategist".

Cecil and Poersch worked together in the 2006 cycle when the former held the title of political director.

Cecil served as Sen. Michael Bennet's chief of staff for much of 2009 and 2010, and was intimately involved in the incumbent's campaign this fall, which was named one of the best of the year by the Fix. Bennet called Cecil "instrumental to our success in November" and added: "My colleagues in the Senate will soon find out how fortunate they are to have him on their side."

Cecil also did a stint as political director for the 2008 presidential bid of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).

Cecil faces tough odds in his new post. There are 21 Democratic Senators up for reelection in 2012 as well as two independents -- Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.) -- who caucus with their side. Just 10 Republican incumbents are on the ballot.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has undergone almost no major changes since the 2010 election. Texas Sen. John Cornyn will return as chairman while Rob Jesmer will be executive director of the committee.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 22, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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