The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Pelosi’s top money guy to head up fundraising for House Democrats’ main super PAC

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s top political fundraiser is moving over to the main super PAC for House Democrats, who are desperate to retain and grow their narrow majority in the high-stakes 2022 midterm elections.

Mike Smith is joining the House Majority PAC just as its president, Robby Mook, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, leaves for a year of active duty overseas.

Smith, whose title will be senior adviser, has vast experience in Democratic politics and fundraising, having worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s deputy executive director and as Pelosi’s political director.

“I have been so appreciative of Robby’s work to protect and expand the Democratic majority and we are so proud that he is also doing his patriotic duty in service of our great country by going on active duty with the Naval Reserves,” said Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a statement to the Post. “As we go forward, Mike Smith, who has been a trusted and talented aide for many years, is excellently equipped to help communicate the Democrats’ agenda to rebuild our country and economy after COVID to voters across the country.”

The super PAC will play a critical role as House Democrats work to defend their majority in a midterm election year, which historically do not go well for the party of the president. In Mook’s absence, Smith will be the House Majority PAC’s main money guy, shoring up donors ahead of a campaign season in which more than a dozen Democratic incumbents are vulnerable.

House Democrats underperformed in 2020 after a rout in 2018 that won them back the majority for the second half of President Donald Trump’s term. Even as now-President Biden swept swing districts in the 2020 election, House Democrats gave up 11 seats in total, losing 13 incumbents but picking up two seats elsewhere.

If Democrats lose the majority next year in either the House or the Senate, it will severely undercut Biden’s ability to see his policy goals achieved.