WASHINGTON — Stepping up in the House GOP ranks, Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., was named Thursday to be the new fundraising chair for the main Republican House political operation, a position that could lead to a higher national profile.
LaHood, whose central Illinois district takes in 19 counties and includes parts of Peoria, is the next national finance chair for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the major political arm for House Republicans.
LaHood was a co-chair of former President Donald Trump’s Illinois reelection campaign and has been mentioned, as he builds a national network of GOP donors, as a possible 2022 governor candidate.
The NRCC did unexpectedly well in 2020, gaining seats even though the Democrats retained the majority. In Illinois, the NRCC is targeting three Democratic seats in 2022: Reps. Lauren Underwood, Sean Casten and Cheri Bustos.
“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 House in 2022,” LaHood said in a statement.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement, “Darin is the right man for the job, and I know our party will benefit greatly from his tireless work ethic, strength of character and leadership. I look forward to working closely with him as we work to take back the House in 2022.”
Republicans need five seats to take back the House. He is the son of ex-Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill.
Ex-Rep. Dan Lipinski’s new spot in anti-Communism group
Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., defeated by Rep. Marie Newman, D-Ill., in the 2020 Democratic primary, is now an adviser to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an organization dealing with immigrants who fled communist nations in Eastern Europe, North Korea and China.
Lipinski said he will be doing public speaking and writing op-eds in his new part-time position to “advance the Foundation’s human rights advocacy and educational efforts” while doing local outreach in Chicago.
He said in a statement, “Throughout my time in Congress, I worked for the protection of human rights around the world, especially in China where the Communist Party continues its unconscionable oppression of its people, including Uyghurs and other minorities who suffer in concentration camps.”