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Colorado's first black congressman-elect says midterms signal positive future

One week after being elected Colorado's first black congressman, Rep.-elect Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) says the outcome of November’s midterm elections offer hope for progressives and future generations to come.

At the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s first press conference since Democrats took back the House, Neguse expressed confidence in the group’s leadership, citing a number of newly elected members from across the country like himself.

The co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanCapitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election MORE (D-Wis.), said the group has added more than 90 members in the next Congress, making it the “largest value-based” caucus in Washington.

“It’s a hopeful night for our country — it’s hard not to look a the results from coast to coast and come away with it from a deep and abiding sense that things are going to get better for our country,” Neguse told Hill.TV correspondent Alison Spann on Monday.

“I have a lot of confidence in the folks who you saw right up here today who were just elected and their ability to build a world that will ultimately be better for my daughter and her generation,” he added.

The congressman-elect, who will represent Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, said his successful bid for Congress was exciting for a number of reasons.

“It was an exciting evening for a variety of reasons … my wife and I just welcomed our first child, who is 10 weeks old, her name is Natalie, and so being able to spend the evening with her and sort of think about the future — I mean it’s a hopeful future,” Neguse said.

Neguse said the caucus is still trying to determine what issues to prioritize, but added that he thinks the group will be able to tackle a number of issues, while also providing crucial government oversight, which he said claimed had been lacking in the Republican-controlled House.

“At the end of the day, we can walk and chew gum at the same time … I think it’s going to be important to engage in critical oversight — the Congress has largely abdicated its Constitutional oversight duties — while simultaneously pushing the needle on some really important public policy proposals that I think will solve some of the pressing challenges of our time,” he said. 

— Tess Bonn