WASHINGTON -- Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) will leave his job as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee after Republicans gained at least a dozen House seats in Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Israel confirmed his intention to step down to The Huffington Post. In an interview with The New York Times, he expressed little interest in continuing in the role in the next election cycle.
“I’ll tell you what I’m not going to do over any term. I’m not going to stay on as D.C.C.C. chair,” the Times quoted Israel as saying. Israel, DCCC chair since December 2010, told Newsday that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked him to serve for another election cycle, but he declined.
House Democrats lost at least 12 seats in Tuesday’s election, giving Republicans their largest majority in the lower chamber of Congress since the 1940s. Some races remained too close to call on Wednesday.
Some of Tuesday’s Democratic losses may have been particularly stinging for Israel because they occurred in his home state. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), who held his seat for more than a decade, lost his re-election bid to a Republican challenger, and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) was re-elected, despite his indictment earlier this year on 20 counts of fraud.
Sam Stein contributed reporting.