Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) believes that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) passed him over as the next head of House Democratic campaign efforts because of his ties to the financial services industry.
On Monday, Pelosi announced that Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) would replace Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The move bypassed Himes, who frequently was mentioned as a candidate for the post and who had served as the committee’s finance chairman.
"My guess is, it was a factor, which is disappointing because I think the criticism is way off base," Himes said, according to a Hearst reporter.
Himes, a former Goldman Sachs banker whose district includes a high concentration of hedge fund and private equity executives, is one-third of what bank lobbyists refer to as the "Three J's" of the House Financial Services Committee: Democrats who partner with Republicans to propose legislation that would de-regulate the industry.
Though Pelosi didn't choose Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) to chair the DCCC, as Moveon.org had urged her to do, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which had called on her to not appoint Himes, celebrated her pick.
"In not selecting Jim Himes to lead the DCCC, Nancy Pelosi rejected the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party," PCCC co-founder Adam Green said.
The congressman, who has taken more in campaign donations from the investment industry than any other field, has defended his record by citing his work on the Dodd-Frank bill and says he has been a staunch defender of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.