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Hispanic Caucus picks new leadership

Hispanic Caucus picks new leadership
© Greg Nash

Congressional Hispanic Democrats picked a new leadership team Thursday.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) named Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (N.M.) as its chairwoman, Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas) as first vice-chair, Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.) as second vice-chair and Rep. Pete Aguilar (Calif.) as whip.

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Lujan Grisham replaced outgoing Chairwoman Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), who was elected vice-chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus Wednesday.

"We're looking for as many leadership roles [as possible], we're a growing caucus with growing influence with a number of complex issues we're going to have to defend and advance," Lujan Grisham told The Hill.

The CHC will have its largest cohort ever in the 115th Congress, with either 30 or 31 members, depending on who replaces Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Energy: US greenhouse gas emissions fell in Trump's first year | EPA delays decision on science rule | Trump scolds California over wildfires EPA puts science ‘transparency’ rule on back burner Public charge rule is a cruel attack on children MORE (D-Calif.), who was named California attorney general Thursday.

Becerra's downtown Los Angeles district is a safe Democratic seat, which will be filled by a special election.

"I expect it probably will be a crowded field," said Sanchez.

The CHC's growth was driven in part by record fundraising by its campaign arm, Bold PAC, led by Rep. Tony Cardenas (Calif.). Cardenas announced Thursday his candidacy for a new Democratic leadership position for members who have been in Congress for five terms or fewer.

Per CHC tradition, Lujan Grisham, Castro and Gallego each moved up a spot in caucus leadership. Aguilar was selected as whip by acclamation.

"We're going to be talking about legislation that we support or oppose and playing a role in representing millions and millions of Latinos across this country," Aguilar said.