Jan 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schumer plans to pick Gary Peters to run DSCC

Sen. Gary Peters is seen speaking at a campaign event.

Sen. Gary Peters. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is poised to name Sen. Gary Peters to head their party's Senate fundraising arm for the pivotal midterm elections, a move he hopes will allow him to retain his title, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Peters will be tasked with raising the enormous amounts of money Democrats will need to preserve their razor-thin majority. The appointment is something of a surprise, given the Michigander is viewed as a low-key Midwesterner.

  • Schumer advisers are in discussions with Christie Roberts, a Democratic strategist who was instrumental in the party's two Georgia Senate victories, to serve as executive director.
  • There also are plans to name newly elected New Mexico Sen. Ben Ray Lujan as vice chairperson for the committee.
  • The Huffington Post reported this evening that Peters was a "key prospect" for the job.

What to watch: Several Republican senators are retiring in 2022 in key states, including Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

  • But Democrats in red states like soon-to-be Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia as well as Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona also are facing tough reelection fights.

The big picture: Peters just won reelection in a tight race in Michigan, but he didn't trounce his opponent, Republican John James. He also underperformed compared to Biden, winning by about 65,000 fewer votes than the president-elect.

  • But Peters won Michigan in 2020 with a margin eight times larger than Trump in 2016.
  • The safety net is that Peters will be executing orders from Schumer, himself a former DSCC chair. He has strong opinions on how to preserve his position as majority leader and won't be shy about sharing them.
  • Sources close to the process cautioned the decision wasn't final.
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