Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, a six-year House member, was named Thursday to head the 2022 fundraising efforts for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the chamber’s GOP election efforts.
“In the 2020 election, House Republicans made critical gains to expand our conference, with the most diverse freshman class in our history, and we are prepared to build on these victories and restore a Republican majority in the chamber in 2022,” LaHood said in a statement.
“Now is not the time to let up in this fight and I am honored to be named national finance chair. I look forward to working with NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and the entire NRCC team to ensure our candidates and incumbent members have the necessary resources and are prepared to take back the majority in 2022,” he said.
Emmer, a Minnesota congressman, said LaHood had a “proven track record of success,” while McCarthy, of California, said the NRCC will benefit from “his tireless work ethic, strength of character and leadership.”
Democrats hold a 221-211 advantage in the House, with three vacancies. LaHood, son of Ray LaHood, former congressman and transportation secretary in Barack Obama’s White House, represents the state’s 18th District — one of the state’s most heavily Republican, where he got 70% of the vote in his Nov. 3 reelection.
The announcement of LaHood’s role in the 2022 Republican efforts comes as the NRCC said it would focus on 47 Democratic seats as “prime pick-up opportunities.”
The list includes three seats from Illinois — the 14th District seat held by two-term Rep. Lauren Underwood of Naperville, the 6th District seat held by two-term Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove and the 17th District seat held by five-term Rep. Cheri Bustos of East Moline.
In November, Underwood defeated former state Sen. Jim Oberweis, a frequent candidate, by 5,374 votes, while Casten defeated former state representative and unsuccessful governor candidate Jeanne Ives of Wheaton by 29,886 votes.
Bustos, the former head of the Democrat’s House campaign committee, won by 12,148 votes over Republican Esther Joy King.