Cedric Richmond, a senior adviser to President Biden, is expected to step down from his position next month, becoming one of the first senior White House aides to leave the administration as Democrats brace for a difficult midterm election.
Mr. Richmond has informed Mr. Biden of his intentions, according to Democrats familiar with the conversation. Mr. Richmond is expected to enter the private sector but will also be a senior adviser to the Democratic National Committee, which has not forged a close relationship with the White House.
“I am thrilled that the president has entrusted me with helping boost the robust work already being done at the DNC to make sure that Democrats grow their majorities in the House and Senate, and increase the number of Democratic governors in state capitals around the country, “Mr. Richmond said in a statement Monday evening, adding that he looked forward to amplifying “the White House’s message as we head toward the midterms.”
In his new role, Mr. Richmond is expected to travel the country to raise funds for Democrats and act as a surrogate for the Biden administration.
Earlier on Monday, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, alluded to Mr. Richmond’s new position, telling reporters that when the press office has “something to announce, it will involve a new important role for Cedric Richmond,” something the president is “excited about and has asked him to do.”
A former Louisiana congressman and onetime chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Mr. Richmond was one of Mr. Biden’s earliest enthusiasts ahead of the 2020 campaign, urging him to run and then endorsing his candidacy.
After claiming the presidency, Mr. Biden named Mr. Richmond as a top White House aide and liaison to the business community, making him one of the most prominent African Americans in the administration.
The former lawmaker, who retains deep relationships with House Democrats, also worked on high-profile issues including voting rights and police reform, but he often strained to unite progressive activists and lawmakers at a moment his party has the thinnest of congressional majorities.
Mr. Richmond was one of a handful of high-profile Black officials in the White House and he grew close to the president over their shared affection for golf. He played a round in Mr. Biden’s native Delaware last weekend.
Mr. Richmond will not be leaving Mr. Biden’s orbit entirely. He will work with the DNC chairman, Jaime Harrison, who clashed with West Wing officials during the president’s first year in office.
“We look forward to having Cedric join our already strong team as we continue to work in close partnership with the White House, and our sister committees to protect and expand our Democratic majorities.” Harrison said in a statement.
Mr. Richmond is very close to Mr. Harrison’s political mentor, Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, and is expected to be a conduit between the committee, Congress and the White House.
Mr. Richmond is unlikely to be the last top White House aide to leave this year.
While Vice President Kamala Harris has suffered the most early turnover – losing key aides like Symone Sanders and Tina Flournoy – West Wing officials are also starting to head for the exits.
Ms. Psaki, as well, has been clear she will leave the administration and a handful of other aides may also quit after the midterm elections. Jeffrey Zients, Mr. Biden’s Covid czar, also recently left his post and Gina McCarthy, the White House climate adviser, is said to be doing so in the coming weeks, too.
Mr. Biden’s longtime communications adviser, Anita Dunn, stepped away last year but is expected to return to the White House later this year.