Dem lawmaker sees 'probability’ that next Speaker will be black

Dem lawmaker sees 'probability’ that next Speaker will be black
© Greg Nash

Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeHouse Administration Committee to make election security a 'primary focus' Dems rally behind Omar as Trump escalates attacks Congressional Black Caucus faces tough decision on Harris, Booker MORE (D-Ohio) said in a new interview that "it is more than a possibility — it's a probability" that the next House Speaker will be African-American.

Fudge told Politico that she backs Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who is currently the third-ranking House Democrat, for the position. 

Other black Democratic lawmakers who some have floated as successors to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDebate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 Liz Cheney faces a big decision on her future MORE (R-Wis.) if their party wins back a majority in the midterms include Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou Jeffries Winter is here: How 'Game of Thrones' took over American politics The CASE Act is an opportunity for creators to have rights and remedies Dems struggle to make Trump bend on probes MORE (N.Y.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondJudiciary Committee Dem: Impeachment should be considered Biden makes hard push for African American vote Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Google face tough questions on white nationalism | Nielsen's exit raisers cyber worries | McConnell calls net neutrality bill 'dead on arrival' | Facebook changes terms for EU data MORE (La.), Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene Cummings5 things to watch as Trump, Dems clash over investigations Republicans defend drug company in spotlight over HIV medication prices Advocate praises Warren's opioid proposal: 'The scale of the plan is absolutely right' MORE (Md.) and Fudge, Politico reported.

In an interview with Politico, Clyburn said that he has been preparing for the role "since my pre-teenage years." He said he is open to the possibility of running for Speaker "if the opportunity is there."  

ADVERTISEMENT

Multiple Democratic lawmakers and House candidates in recent months have distanced themselves from Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Dems walk Trump trade tightrope Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution MORE (D-Calif.), who has said she would run for Speaker again. More than a dozen House candidates have pledged they would not vote for her if they were elected, denouncing Pelosi as a representative of the older, less-progressive Democratic establishment.

Fourth-ranking House Democrat Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) was floated as a Pelosi replacement before he was ousted by 28-year-old democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a surprise primary upset last month. 

Politico reported more lawmakers have been discussing potential black Speakers in recent weeks.

There has never been a black lawmaker in charge of a party caucus in the House or Senate, and no black lawmaker has risen higher than the majority whip in the House, the news outlet noted. 

“We want people to see that the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives is, with some intentionality, very inclusive,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), a senior member of the CBC. “It’s a powerful statement for the nation and maybe even for the world.”

Jeffries, another possible contender for Speaker, has reportedly said he would not run against Pelosi and would back Clyburn if he ran. 

“I haven’t ruled anything in, I haven’t ruled anything out,” Jeffries said. “My mindset is that we should all continue to be focused on winning back the majority in November, because that is the most significant thing that we can do on behalf of the people that we represent.”