Headline, Politics

Ami Bera vying to lead House Democratic campaign arm

Image Courtesy: U.S. Air Force (Photo by Heide Couch)

Indian American lawmaker cast himself as “the best choice” saying he would strive to be “a unifying bridge”

Poised to win a sixth consecutive term in the US House, Indian American Congressman Dr Ami Bera wants to lead the powerful Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

“As we head into 2024, the stakes could not be higher for the American people,” Bera,57, wrote in a letter to his party colleagues in the House of Representatives seeking their support for his candidacy.

With Republicans likely to win a narrow majority in the House, he warned, “Instead of putting families first, House Republicans are hell-bent on using the next two years to slash Social Security and Medicare, strip away women’s reproductive rights, and pursue partisan political investigations.”

Read: Election 2022: Desi winners and losers in US House races (November 11, 2022)

“It is with this in mind that I write to you today to ask for your support for my candidacy to be the next Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC),” wrote Bera, who currently serves as Frontline Chair for the DCCC overseeing efforts to reelect party members in competitive seats.

“Thanks to the strong performances of our Members and their campaigns, and through the support and work of Chair Sean Patrick Maloney and his team, House Democrats defied history last Tuesday,” he noted.

“Not only did our front liners win close races, but we flipped several Red to Blue seats and we broadened and strengthened our base through historic turnout from young voters,” Bera wrote. “While many votes are still left to be counted, it’s clear that the American people believe in our families-first agenda that we pathed in the 117th Congress.”

“Working together across our diverse Caucus, we passed historic legislation that has led to record job creation, lower prescription drug costs and health care premiums, and generational improvements to our infrastructure and environment,” he added.

First elected in 2012, Bera, who previously worked as Chief Medical Officer for Sacramento County in California, is the longest-serving Indian American member of Congress in history.

Bera cast himself as “the best choice” to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, leaning on his experience as a member of outgoing chair Maloney’s leadership team.

If elected as DCCC chair, he said he would strive to be “a unifying bridge across districts and members” and would build “a talented team that reflects the diversity, strengths, and skills of our caucus and of America.”

Bera, son of immigrant parents from Gujarat, said he learned firsthand how to win in tough, expensive races when he ousted a Republican incumbent in the 2012 cycle.

“I know what it takes to win in a competitive race and how to communicate with a wide constituency,” Bera wrote. “Many of the practices that my office and campaign implemented and honed are now part of the programs that many of you use.”

Bera also touted his fundraising ability, noting that he has raised or donated nearly $500,000 for Democratic members and candidates this cycle, and helped the DCCC raise $1.4 million for itself and more than $3.8 million to use in frontline and Republican-held districts that Democrats sought to flip.

Read: A second House Dem is running for campaigns chief after shockingly positive midterms (November 14, 2022)

Rep. Colin Allred praised Bera’s track record. “Having watched Ami help lead our efforts to protect and expand our electoral map, I know he is the most experienced and battle-tested member to lead the DCCC at this pivotal moment,” he said.

“Most importantly, Ami is a unifier. He will be a strong supporter of our colleagues from all corners of our diverse Caucus as we look towards 2024,” he said.

“Ami knows how to compete and win in purple districts across the country, including in districts like mine. He has the experience and battle wounds necessary to lead the DCCC,” said Rep. Kim Schrier.

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