By Mike Lillis - 11/14/12 06:48 PM EST
Rep. Jim Clyburn on Wednesday launched a bid to remain the No. 3 House Democrat in the next Congress.
The 10-term South Carolinian said his diverse background — including a long run in leadership, his experience as former head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and his roots in a conservative state — makes him "uniquely positioned" to unite a caucus that features more women and minorities than any in Congress's history.
"I have always sought to build bridges, and to make sure all points of view are represented and all voices are heard at the leadership table," he wrote in a letter to his fellow Democrats. "I’m proud of my record of service and look forward to working with each of you to build on our historic achievement and demonstrate that diversity truly is our greatest strength."
That wasn’t the case two years ago. Then, after the Democrats were trounced at the polls and lost their House majority, Clyburn had weighed a challenge against Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for the Democratic whip position. Pelosi defused the situation by creating the assistant leader designation, thereby keeping Clyburn at the leadership table and avoiding a divisive, intra-party run-off.
Hoyer on Wednesday said he's running to keep the whip position. At this point, there are no known challengers to Pelosi, Hoyer or Clyburn.
The Democrats' are scheduled to hold their leadership elections on Nov. 29.