Top Dem rep says diverse 2020 field shows party's 'maturity'

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonDHS cyber agency to prioritize election security, Chinese threats Trump officials unveil rule allowing indefinite migrant family detentions House committee heads demand Coast Guard Academy explain handling of harassment allegations MORE (D-Miss.) said in an interview that aired Wednesday on "Rising" that the diverse field emerging in the 2020 Democratic primary illustrates that the party is maturing. 

“I think it’s the maturing of the party, and it’s a recognition that’s no longer a solo candidate of a particular gender or race that we can expect," Thompson told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on Tuesday, adding that the diversity of the field also shows that competition among good candidates is "healthy" for the Democratic Party. 

Various candidates have thrown their hats into the growing 2020 Democratic primary ring or launched exploratory committees, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Gabbard, Steyer inch toward making third Democratic debate MORE (Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court MORE (Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Gabbard, Steyer inch toward making third Democratic debate Gillibrand unveils mental health plan MORE (N.Y.), and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. 

Thompson also praised the historic wave of diverse candidates elected to the House in 2018, saying it was another sign of the Democratic Party growing. 

"It's the melting pot of America manifesting itself in the U.S. House of Representatives," Thompson said. "You have races, religions, creeds, represented there." 

"Again, it's the maturing, and broadening, rightfully so, of the Democratic Party," he said.  

— Julia Manchester