Executive Director, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Democratic campaign operative
Industry: Political consulting
Key previous position: Vice president, EMILY’s List
Education: U of Texas, Austin
Notable fact: First Latina executive director of the DCCC
Lucinda Guinn is in it to win it.
She’s eager to talk about how Democrats are going on the offensive in 2020. She’s quick to point to their already-record fundraising numbers. She’s not shy in describing herself as the “most competitive human being you’ll ever meet.” Before her interview with National Journal even started, she wanted to know where she ranked in the NJ50, sounding slightly disappointed when she was told the featured subjects would go unranked.
“I just can’t sit still,” the 39-year-old executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said when describing her unrelenting drive.
Tapped to lead the congressional Democrats’ electoral arm in September, Guinn had felt compelled to return to the DCCC after the shooting at a shopping center in her hometown of El Paso that killed 22 people and left 24 others wounded.
“My mom was at that shopping center a day before,” she said. “These are serious times, and we cannot fail.”
It’s not climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, which she did on a recent vacation to Africa, but she’s still facing an uphill battle not only to defend the 44 Democratic front-liners but also flip 39 Republican-held seats across the country.
“We are going to put a ton of seats in play, and that is fun and exciting work,” she said, itching for a fight and the opportunity. “We need not just to protect but expand our majority.”
Add that to the task of revamping the DCCC after the “Monday night massacre” this summer, which saw mass resignations from the committee’s senior staff—including Guinn’s predecessor—amid criticism over lack of diversity within the organization’s top ranks.
“Everything I’ve done throughout my career has prepared me for this role. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to go all in to help our country in this moment,” she said.
Democrats are depending on Guinn’s infectious competitive drive to put them over the top next year and lead them into an uncertain future.
—Kirk A. Bado