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About Parties and Leadership | Campaign Committee Chairs

Both party conferences in the Senate appoint campaign committees to help elect members of their party to the Senate by recruiting candidates, raising and distributing funds, and assisting with communications and strategy.

The senatorial campaign committees have their origins in the 19th century. In the 1860s, some Republican senators joined with their colleagues in the House of Representatives to form a joint campaign committee to support President Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 reelection campaign. In 1866 the Republican campaign committee turned its attention to House and Senate elections, especially races in the southern states undergoing Reconstruction. That year, Democratic members of the House and Senate also established a congressional campaign committee to build national support for “democratic and conservative elements” of Congress. In the years that followed, the Senate’s two party conferences appointed senators to serve with members of the House on these congressional campaign committees.

By 1916 Democrats and Republicans in the Senate had established their own campaign committees, separate from the House, to focus exclusively on Senate campaigns. These committees raised funds for candidates, provided speakers for campaign events, and created and distributed campaign materials. Party leadership appointed the campaign committee chairs, usually at the beginning of each Congress, and established the practice of choosing senators who were not up for reelection, a practice that continues today. In 1955 the Republican Conference began electing their campaign committee chair. The Democratic campaign committee chair continues to be appointed by the party leader.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairpersons
SenatorSenate Service
WeeksJohn W. Weeks (R-MA) 1916
GallingerJacob H. Gallinger (R-NH) 1918
PoindexterMiles Poindexter (R, PR-WA) 1920–1921
McCormickJoseph M. McCormick (R-IL) 1921–1922
MosesGeorge H. Moses (R-NH) 1922–1924
FessSimeon D. Fess (R-OH) 1925–1926
Phipps Lawrence C. Phipps (R-CO) 1926–1927
MosesGeorge H. Moses (R-NH) 1927–1928
Metcalf Jesse H. Metcalf (R-RI) 1928–1929
MosesGeorge H. Moses (R-NH) 1929–1930
NyeGerald P. Nye (R-ND) 1930–1931
HatfieldHenry D. Hatfield (R-WV) 1931–1932
DickinsonLester J. Dickinson (R-IA) 1932–1934
HastingsDaniel O. Hastings (R-DE) 1934–1936
TownsendJohn G. Townsend, Jr. (R-DE) 1 1936–1949
BrewsterRalph O. Brewster (R-ME) 1949–1951
BridgesH. Styles Bridges (R-NH) 1951–1953
DirksenEverett M. Dirksen (R-IL) 1953–1955
GoldwaterBarry M. Goldwater (R-AZ) 1955–1956
SchoeppelAndrew F. Schoeppel (R-KS) 1956–1959
GoldwaterBarry M. Goldwater (R-AZ) 1959–1963
MortonThruston B. Morton (R-KY) 1963–1967
MurphyGeorge L. Murphy (R-CA) 1967–1969
TowerJohn G. Tower (R-TX) 1969–1971
DominickPeter H. Dominick (R-CO) 1971–1973
BrockWilliam E. Brock III (R-TN) 1973–1975
StevensTed Stevens (R-AK) 1975–1977
PackwoodRobert W. Packwood (R-OR) 1977–1979
HeinzH. John Heinz III (R-PA) 1979–1981
PackwoodRobert W. Packwood (R-OR) 1981–1983
LugarRichard G. Lugar (R-IN) 1983–1985
HeinzH. John Heinz III (R-PA) 1985–1987
BoschwitzRudy Boschwitz (R-MN) 1987–1989
NicklesDonald L. Nickles (R-OK) 1989–1991
GrammPhil Gramm (R-TX) 1991–1995
D'AmatoAlfonse M. D'Amato (R-NY) 1995–1997
McConnellMitch McConnell (R-KY) 1997–2001
FristWilliam H. Frist (R-TN) 2001–2003
AllenGeorge Allen (R-VA) 2003–2005
DoleElizabeth H. Dole (R-NC) 2005–2007
EnsignJohn E. Ensign (R-NV) 2007–2008
CornynJohn Cornyn (R-TX) 2009–2013
MoranJerry Moran (R-KS) 2013–2015
WickerRoger F. Wicker (R-MS) 2015–2017
GardnerCory Gardner (R-CO) 2017–2019
YoungTodd Young (R-IN) 2019–2021
ScottRick Scott (R-FL) 2021–present

1 Townsend lost his bid for reelection in 1940 but the Conference elected him as chairman of the Campaign Committee in February 1941, a position he continued to hold until 1949.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairpersons
SaulsburyWillard Saulsbury, Jr. (D-DE) 1916
WalshThomas J. Walsh (D-MT) 1920–1922
WalshDavid I. Walsh (D-MA) 1922–1924
JonesAndrieus A. Jones (D-NM) 1924–1926
GerryPeter G. Gerry (D-RI) 1926–1928
Tydings Millard E. Tydings (D-MD) 1928–1932
Swanson Claude A. Swanson (D-VA) 1932–1934
LewisJames H. Lewis (D-IL) 1934–1935
Guffey Joseph F. Guffey (D-PA) 1935–1937
BrownPrentiss M. Brown (D-MI) 1938–1939
GreenTheodore F. Green (D-RI) 1939–1941
GuffeyJoseph F. Guffey (D-PA) 1941–1943
O'MahoneyJoseph C. O'Mahoney (D-WY) 1943–1947
LucasScott W. Lucas (D-IL) 1947–1949
AndersonClinton Presba Anderson (D-NM) 1949–1953
ClementsEarle C. Clements (D-KY) 1953–1957
SmathersGeorge A. Smathers (D-FL) 1957–1961
HartkeRupert V. Hartke (D-IN) 1961–1963
MagnusonWarren G. Magnuson (D-WA) 1963–1967
MuskieEdmund S. Muskie (D-ME) 1967–1969
InouyeDaniel K. Inouye (D-HI) 1969–1971
HollingsFritz Hollings (D-SC) 1971–1973
BentsenLloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. (D-TX) 1973–1976
JohnstonJ. Bennett Johnston, Jr. (D-LA) 1976–1977
FordWendell H. Ford (D-KY) 1977–1983
BentsenLloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. (D-TX) 1983–1985
MitchellGeorge J. Mitchell (D-ME) 1985–1987
KerryJohn F. Kerry (D-MA) 1987–1989
BreauxJohn B. Breaux (D-LA) 1989–1991
RobbCharles S. Robb (D-VA) 1991–1993
GrahamBob Graham (D-FL) 1993–1995
KerreyJ. Robert Kerrey (D-NE) 1995–1999
TorricelliRobert G. Torricelli (D-NJ) 1999–2001
MurrayPatty Murray (D-WA) 2001–2003
CorzineJon S. Corzine (D-NJ) 2003–2005
SchumerCharles E. Schumer (D-NY) 2005–2008
MenendezRobert Menendez (D-NJ) 2008–2011
MurrayPatty Murray (D-WA) 2011–2013
BennetMichael F. Bennet (D-CO) 2013–2015
TesterJon Tester (D-MT) 2015–2017
Van HollenChris Van Hollen (D-MD) 2017–2019
Cortez MastoCatherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) 2019–2021
PetersGary C. Peters (D-MI) 2021–present