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Rep. Susan DelBene
Rep. Susan DelBene.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

Washington Democrat will lead party's House campaign arm

Rep. Suzan DelBene takes over for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who lost his own race in a better-than-expected year for Democrats.

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Incoming House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries has tapped Washington Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBene to lead the party's House campaign arm — the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Jeffries made the announcement Tuesday, confirming the decision that had been previously reported by NBC News and other outlets. In his statement, the top House Democrat called DelBene "battle-tested," looking back at her electoral history, and praised her "keen political instincts" for helping Democrat Marie Gueskamp Perez flip Washington's 3rd Congressional District this cycle, one of the party's biggest upsets.

"She is the right leader, with the right experience and the right demeanor to meet this pivotal moment," Jeffries said.

While DCCC chairs used to run for the position, this is the first time that leadership selected the chair instead (thanks to a recent rules change). DelBene, who previously chaired the more moderate New Democrat Coalition, will be the second woman in Jeffries' leadership team.

She takes over from outgoing New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who lost his own re-election bid even as Democrats limited their losses in a midterm election some worried could have led to a wave.