NCC's Edgar will head Common Cause: National group addresses election reform, other issues

Bob Edgar, the former member of Congress who led the National Council of Churches for seven years, has been selected as president and CEO of Common Cause, a national advocacy group addressing campaign finance reform, government accountability, election reform and related issues.

Edgar, 63, also a United Methodist minister, who announced last October that he would not seek a third term as general secretary of the 35-member council, shared the news with the NCC governing board at its May 22 meeting.

Asked months ago what he would do after his NCC term ends this year, Edgar said he would still want to have “a bully pulpit” with some organization. Edgar has been on the board of Common Cause since 2005. He will succeed Chellie Pingree, who stepped down in February, said the Common Cause announcement.

“With devastating consequences, powerful special interests distort and disrupt the democratic process in ways that shift political power away from the American people,” Edgar said in the news release. “I look forward to carrying on [founder] John Gardner’s vision of Common Cause as a people’s lobby both in Washington, D.C., and in the states.”

The NCC board has a search committee examining potential candidates for the post of general secretary. Edgar will continue with the NCC through August while also starting his new duties in Washington.