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Michigan Senator Gary Peters named new DSCC Chair

Michigan Senator Gary Peters, who was just reelected to his second term in the Senate, has been named the new chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the party's Senate campaign arm.

As DSCC chair, Peters will be responsible for helping recruit candidates for Senate races and leading fundraising efforts. His top task is to build upon the slim majority Democrats currently hold in the Senate.

In November, Peters won a tough race against Republican challenger John James. The seat had been heavily targeted by Republicans, who hoped to flip the seat, but Peters went on to win by 1.7 points. 

"Gary Peters is a hardworking, disciplined and effective member of the Senate, and I know he will be an outstanding DSCC Chair to ensure Democrats protect our strong incumbents and go on offense to expand our majority," Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

One of the top targets for Democrats in 2022 is Wisconsin, where Republican Ron Johnson hasn't announced whether he will seek reelection. Democrats are also hoping to pick up seats in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where Republican incumbents aren't running for reelection. There may also be an opportunity in Ohio after Republican Rob Portman announced that he won't seek reelection. Democrats will also be on defense in four battleground states that President Biden carried in 2020: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire. 

"We have a great opportunity in 2022 to defend and expand our Democratic majority so we can keep working to protect our health, rebuild our economy stronger than before and deliver real progress for the American people," Peters said in a statement. 

In his 2020 race, Peters raised about $2 million dollars more than James over the two-year cycle. James outraised Peters in the first two quarters of 2020, and many of the Senate Democratic candidates running against Republican incumbents raised significantly more money than Peters. 

But while his fundraising wasn't as strong as that of other Senate Democrats, Peters' supporters point to a key attribute: he won his race. 

Former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard said Peters is a strong fundraiser who is "politically sophisticated" and knows how to win tough campaigns. 

"He's battle tested and he's a workhorse," Blanchard said. "The Democrats are lucky to get him to do it."

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