WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, was appointed Tuesday to head the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the political organization charged with helping to elect Democratic senators.
Menendez succeeds Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, as DSCC chair. Schumer held the post for four years and is credited with helping Democrats pick-up at least seven seats in November.
Senate races in Georgia and Minnesota remain unresolved. In Georgia, a run-off will occur Dec. 2, while a recount is underway in Minnesota. Democrats currently hold 58 seats in the Senate, and victories in Georgia and Minnesota will give them 60 seats - a filibuster-proof majority in the chamber.
Schumer is also credited with engineering a six seat gain in the 2006 midterm elections that gave the Democrats control of the Senate.
Menendez joined the Senate in 2006 to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Jon Corzine, who resigned after winning election as New Jersey governor.
Menendez, who is Hispanic, won his own six-year term in the 2008 elections. For the past two years, the New Jersey senator served as the DSCC's vice chair.
The DSCC in its news release stated that Menendez is the first Hispanic to chair a House or Senate campaign committee, and noted he became "the highest ranking Hispanic in Congressional history" when we was elected to lead the House Democratic Caucus before joining the Senate.
Senate Republicans chose Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to lead their political efforts in 2010 as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee shortly after the elections.