Democrats Are Already Looking Ahead to 2022 Midterms – By Phillip Elliott (TIME) / Nov 30 2020
Only one big job remains up for grabs in Democrats’ House Leadership elections, and the contest to see who will helm their campaign arm for the next two years is as much about the two men seeking the position as it is about the message the party wants to send about its commitment to diversity.
The chairmanship of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is coming down to a two-man race. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York is raising an interracial family with his husband in a district that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 and whose 2020 status was far closer than Democrats would have preferred, according to The Associated Press’ tally. Rep. Tony Cárdenas is a leader and strong fundraiser in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and hails from a district that voted 4-to-1 Democratic in 2012 and 2016. Both men, first elected in 2012, have built impressive political operations and similarly pitched that the Democrats cannot afford another blindside like the one that hit them on Election Day when they nearly lost their House majority.
But as much as the contest may come down to the men’s not-all-that-different vision for the party’s campaign arm — namely, it must modernize, or President-elect Joe Biden will be facing a Republican-controlled House come 2023 — it also may come down to the symbolism of the gig. Maloney would be the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress to lead the campaign committee and the highest-profile gay man to have a seat in the current House Leadership. Cárdenas offers a nod to Latino voters’ power and to the fact Democrats underperformed with that bloc in 2020, while he argues that Democrats must reach out in culturally competent ways.
Don’t think Democrats care about these issues of representation? Look at President-elect Joe Biden’s senior communications team heading to the White House next year, which is entirely female — a first. Or listen to the very serious voices sounding off from inside Biden’s orbit, warning that diversity needs to be a priority as he builds out his Cabinet.