Strauss Backs Frost for DNC Chair

The man in charge of rebuilding the Democratic Party after Richard Nixon's 1972 landslide Republican victory is backing Texan Martin Frost (search) for the party's chairmanship.

Bob Strauss (search) called Frost, a former U.S. House member, "the winning strategist, innovative organizer and proven spokesperson" Democrats need to rebuild and win.

Strauss is a founder of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, one of the largest law firms in Washington.

Members of the Democratic National Committee (search) vote Feb. 12 for a replacement for chairman Terry McAuliffe, who is not seeking another term.

Strauss, a Texan, led the DNC after Nixon beat Sen. George McGovern for a second term. Republicans also gained 12 seats in the House that year. Strauss' work led up to the 1976 election of Jimmy Carter, who was the last Democratic president to carry Texas.

"I know how tough it is to take over a party after a tough election and so does Martin Frost," Strauss said in a release issued by Frost.

Frost served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which focuses on re-electing House members, after the 1994 Republican landslide. He lost his Dallas-area congressional seat in November after redistricting engineered by Majority Leader Tom DeLay forced him into a race with Rep. Pete Sessions in a more Republican-friendly district. He served 26 years in Congress.

Frost said the endorsement from Strauss "means a lot." Frost was the North Texas chairman for Carter's presidential campaign in 1976 when Strauss was DNC chairman.

In addition to Frost, candidates are: former presidential candidate Howard Dean, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb; Democratic strategist Donnie Fowler, former Indiana Rep. Tim Roemer, former Ohio state Democratic Party chair David Leland and Simon Rosenberg, head of the New Democrat Network.