(Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden has picked former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison to head the Democratic National Committee, Biden’s office said in a statement on Thursday.
Harrison was a successful fundraiser as a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina, amassing a stunning $109 million war chest for his 2020 campaign before ultimately losing his bid to unseat Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
In November’s election, Democrats held their majority, although reduced, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and gained razor-thin control of the U.S. Senate after winning two runoff elections last week in Georgia. But they are bracing for tough congressional elections in 2022.
The current DNC chairman, Tom Perez, has said he would not seek another term.
Harrison, an associate chairman for the DNC, formerly worked for U.S. Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, whose early backing of Biden helped him secure the party’s presidential nomination last year.
Biden is filling other top DNC officer positions with three women he had considered as possible running mates during his presidential campaign: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth. Biden ultimately selected another senator, Kamala Harris, to join him on the ticket.
Members of the DNC will vote next week for its officers for the 2021-2025 term.
(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Jason Lange; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Dan Grebler and Peter Cooney)