November 10, 2020 at 4:23 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney seeks to become first out gay DCCC chair
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney seeks to become the first out gay member of the DCCC. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) has set his sight on becoming the next chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which would make him the first openly gay leader of the political arm for House Democrats if elected.

Maloney, in a Dear Colleague letter to fellow House Democrats on Tuesday, cited as reasons for his candidacy his fundraising expertise, implementation of the 5-month DCCC “Deep Dive” after losses in 2016 and initial win against a Republican incumbent

“This coming cycle will be challenging,” Maloney writes. “We must defend vulnerable frontline members while working to expand our majority in what will almost assuredly be a difficult environment. I believe that my experiences and skill set would make me the best choice to lead the DCCC in such a time.”

Although he doesn’t explicitly mention being an out gay DCCC, Maloney concludes he has a “diverse professional background” after having served as COO of a technology start-up and senior staff member for former President Clinton and two governors of New York.

“I have run large, complex organizations successfully and understand the inner-workings of the federal and state executive offices.,” Maloney writes. “The DCCC is a complicated organization that will be working with a Democratic White House for the first time in four years. Having a chair with a developed organizational skill set and executive branch relationships will be critical.”

The race for DCCC chair has opened up after Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) announced she’s step down from the position following an lackluster showing by House Democrats in the 2020 election. Although Bustos promised to expand the majority Democrats won in 2018, Republicans ended up netting at least four seats.

Another contender for the seat Rep. Tony Cárdenas (Calif.), who has announced his bid. Others said to be eyeing the race are Reps. Linda Sánchez (Calif.), a former Democratic caucus vice chair and former Hispanic Caucus chair; and Marc Veasey (D-Texas), according to The Hill newspaper. The closed-door leadership elections are set for next week.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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