Michigan Dem mulls leadership bid in House

Michigan Dem mulls leadership bid in House
© Keren Carrion

Rep. Dan KildeeDaniel (Dan) Timothy KildeePelosi makes fans as Democrat who gets under Trump's skin House to consider amendment blocking warrantless web browsing surveillance Bipartisan bill aims to help smallest businesses weather the coronavirus crisis MORE (D-Mich.) is mulling a bid for a leadership position in the House Democratic Caucus, according to The Detroit News

Kildee, whose district includes Flint, Mich., said he does not have a specific leadership role in mind but said he is interested in running because he wants to amplify the voices of Midwestern voters.


"I’m interested in advancing my leadership role in the caucus," he said in an interview with The Detroit News. "I don’t know what formal role that means at this point in time, but I’m doing it because I think it’s really important that our caucus be more reflective of the whole country and of communities like the ones I represent."

He said he wants to “increase” his role to better help define “the direction we're going to take.”

"There are so many of them [that] feel overlooked and not in the conversation," Kildee said of Midwestern communities. "When it comes to the agenda, it’s set by people who put themselves in the room, and my goal is — whether it’s a formal leadership role or not — to increase the role I play in the caucus in terms of defining the direction we’re going to take."

Kildee is a senior whip in the Democratic caucus and the vice ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee. 

His announcement comes as Democrats nationwide mull the future of the party and possible changes in leadership.

Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) has announced her run for caucus chairwoman, and Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkGun control group rolls out House endorsements Pelosi scrambles to secure quick passage of coronavirus aid Democrat says House vote on trillion aid deal could fall to Friday MORE (D-Mass.) this past week announced her campaign for vice chairwoman.  

House candidates across the country in recent months have come out against House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), claiming that they will not vote for her again because she is a part of the party's older, less progressive establishment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last month defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), the fourth-ranking House Democrat, in a shocking upset win, prompting several Democrats to suggest that the 28-year-old democratic socialist represents the "future" of the party. Her platform includes abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and promoting a "Medicare for all" health-care system 

"It’s a bit early to know precisely where I may try to land because it’s a really fluid environment," Kildee said. "We don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know what seats are going to be available or contested."

Kildee was a vocal advocate for his constituents during the Flint water crisis, which came to light in 2015 when a pair of scientific studies found that there were dangerous levels of lead in the city's drinking water

In April, the city of Flint declared the water safe to drink, but Kildee has continued to speak out on behalf of those who suffered illnesses due to the contaminated water source.