Clyburn seeks to remain in leadership
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) launched an effort on Thursday to remain in the top tiers of Democratic leadership next year, announcing his bid to be the fourth-ranking Democrat in the next Congress.
In a letter to fellow lawmakers, Clyburn, who has been the No. 3 House Democrat since 2006, touted his long experience in the leadership ranks, saying it would be an asset to the party as a younger generation of incoming leaders — expected to be Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), Katherine Clark (Mass.) and Pete Aguilar (Calif.) — gets their footing.
“As we Democrats set about the work of retaking the majority in 2024 and re-electing our President, I humbly ask for your support to remain at the leadership table as the Assistant Democratic Leader, to work alongside our new generation of Democratic leaders which I hope to be Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar,” Clyburn wrote.
Separately, Aguilar also announced his candidacy to replace Jeffries as Caucus chairman, which had been the No. 4 position in the last Democratic minority, but will shift to the No. 3 slot next year.
The moves came the day after the top two Democratic leaders — Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Steny Hoyer (Md.) — announced they will both step away from their leadership duties at the end of this term, although both will also remain in Congress next year.
Clyburn, in endorsing Jeffries, Clark and Aguilar, also ceded his current No. 3 spot in the party brass. But his bid to keep a top leadership position came as a surprise across many parts of the caucus, and it forced a shakeup in the party’s expected leadership roster next year.
Aguilar had been eyeing a run at the assistant leader spot, but with Clyburn seeking the same position he shifted his focus to caucus chair.
That could put him in a race against Rep. Joe Neguse (Colo.), who rolled out his candidacy last week. Neguse’s office did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.
Pelosi on Friday seemed to put her weight behind Jeffries, Clark and Aguilar.
“In the 118th Congress, House Democrats will be led by a trio that reflects our beautiful diversity of our nation. Chair Jeffries, Assistant Speaker Clark and Vice Chair Aguilar know that, in our Caucus, diversity is our strength and unity is our power,” Pelosi wrote in a statement shortly after the trio announced their bids.
“A new day is dawning — and I am confident that these new leaders will capably lead our Caucus and the Congress,” she added.
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