A second House Dem is running for campaigns chief after shockingly positive midterms

After House Democrats mounted a historically muscular showing in the midterms, Rep. Ami Bera is joining the race to lead their campaign arm for 2024.

Bera (D-Calif.) is telling his colleagues his work to protect the party’s seats this cycle — he led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “frontline” program to protect its most vulnerable members — can make him an effective campaign chief for the next election. Though some races have yet to be called, many Democratic frontliners prevailed in tight races despite expectations of heavy losses.

“I am confident that my skills and experiences would make me the best choice to lead the DCCC at this pivotal moment as we seek to win in 2024 and deliver for the American people,” he wrote in a letter to colleagues sent Monday morning and obtained by POLITICO.

The DCCC chair’s mandate for the next cycle remains uncertain, with control of the House still uncalled. But given Republicans’ likely slimmer-than-expected majority, Democrats’ next campaign arm leader will have an easier path to victory than they initially feared.

“As a first generation Indian American, I understand the strength of our diversity,” Bera wrote, pledging to be a unifying force across the caucus who would build a diverse DCCC team.

His letter to his Democratic colleagues also touted the nearly half-million dollars he donated directly to party candidates and lawmakers this cycle, as well as the millions of dollars he raised for candidates through his DCCC work.

Bera, who joined Congress after flipping a Republican-held seat, also touted his own experience of winning competitive races, though his letter noted his seat now was “very safe.” This cycle’s DCCC chief, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), lost his own reelection bid last week.

Some benefactors of Bera’s help lined up in support of his candidacy.

Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.), who won a competitive reelection this year, said Bera knew how to win tough races like hers and “has the experience and battle wounds necessary to lead the DCCC. I am confident Ami will be a valuable asset to Members across our caucus.”

Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas), a Bera supporter and a Black Caucus member who won a Republican-held seat in 2018, called Bera a “unifier” who “will be a strong supporter of our colleagues from all corners of our diverse caucus as we look towards 2024.”

Bera will likely square off against Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who announced his own bid for the DCCC post again after running and losing to Maloney.

Democrats aren’t likely to pick their DCCC chair until later this month, following the selection of their top leaders. But some in the party are pushing for changes to how the party picks its campaigns chief, wanting leadership to pick the position rather than putting it to a caucus-wide election. A little-known panel that handles recommendations on caucus rules will decide whether to recommend any changes to House Democrats as a whole, who could then vote on the matter.

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