Van Hollen will be responsible for leading Senate Democrats’ political operation ahead of the 2018 elections. He was just elected to his first term in the Senate, and previously represented Maryland’s 8th District in the House of Representatives for seven terms. He previously chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats' campaign arm, from 2007-11. Van Hollen is well-connected nationally with Democratic donors.
An announcement of who would chair the DSCC was expected earlier this week, when the Senate Democrats elected new leaders, but it was delayed amid speculation that there might have been difficulty in finding a taker for the thankless task of retaking the Senate for Democrats in 2018, when the map favors the GOP.
“Chris Van Hollen was our first choice for DSCC chairman because of his talents, his work ethic, and his experience,” Schumer said in a statement. “He has the confidence of our caucus and will do a great job for our candidates running in 2018. The map is tough for Democrats, but I have no doubt that Senator-elect Van Hollen is up to the task.”
“Democrats in the Senate are the last line of defense between President-elect Trump and Washington Republicans, and so many of the values and priorities that Americans hold dear,” Van Hollen said in a statement of his own. “I look forward to getting to work right away to defend American values, as well as fighting for my home state of Maryland by taking up Senator Mikulski’s mantle on the Senate Appropriations Committee.”