Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco), who lead the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee through its most successful election cycle in decades, will hand over the reins to two of the men he helped elect in 2012.
State Sens. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) and Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) will co-chair the committee starting on Jan. 1.
Leach is running for Congress in PA-13, the seat of Rep. Allyson Schwartz, and will focus his efforts on that race.
The change was first reported by Chris Brennan of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Senator Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) announced the move in an email to caucus members, obtained by PoliticsPA.
“As Senator Leach exits, I want to say how proud I am of the work that he has done on behalf of the Senate Democrats in overseeing the SDCC’s operations during the largest election gains the caucus has made in over 40 years,” he wrote.
Unlike other leadership positions, SDCC Chair serves at the pleasure of the Leader and is not elected by caucus members.
Sens. Larry Farnese (D-Phila) and Sean Wiley (D-Erie) will be Regional Coordinators.
“I’m proud of the work that I’ve done on behalf of the Senate Democrats, overseeing the campaign committee’s operations during the largest election gains the caucus has made in over 40 years,” Leach said. “I look forward to working closely with the next Chairs of the Campaign Committee to ensuring that the Senate Democrats take the majority next year.”
Smith won the seat of former Sen. John Pippy, who declined to run for re-election in 2012. Likewise Teplitz won the seat of former Sen. Jeff Piccola, and Wiley the seat of former Sen. Jane Earll. The 3 seat pickup was Dems’ best effort since 1970.
“We have big shoes to fill, but I look forward to working with my colleagues to move our caucus towards the majority,” Teplitz said.
The 2014 picture is decidedly more difficult for Democrats than 2012, as they have fewer open seat pickup opportunities and 1 or 2 vulnerable incumbents.