Aguilar launches bid for Democratic leadership position

Aguilar launches bid for Democratic leadership position
© Greg Nash

Rep. Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarDemocratic leaders seek balance amid liberal push to go big on immigration Katherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent The Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck MORE (D-Calif.) is launching a bid to serve as vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus in the next Congress. 

“It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to serve with you. I was honored to help lead, with our colleagues from TriCaucus, the strategy on DACA over the last year. I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues and am excited for where our Caucus can go next year. That is why today I am announcing my candidacy for the position of Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus for the 116th Congress,” he wrote in a letter that was first reported by Politico.


“Thanks to the hard work of Democrats across the country, we are experiencing an outpouring of support for an agenda that puts working people first, expands access to affordable health care, and roots out the corruption that plagues Washington. I’m running for Caucus Vice Chair because I believe that all Members of the Democratic Caucus should have a seat at the table as we work to advance that agenda,” he added.

Aguilar’s candidacy for the House Democrats’ number-five leadership position would set up a battle of the bases within the party, Politico noted, adding that Aguilar, considered by many to be a centrist, would face progressive Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Fourth-ranking House Democrat backs Trump impeachment MORE (D-Mass.).

Both candidates could find support within the party, with the progressive wing enjoying a surge of enthusiasm and swing-district Democrats perhaps finding a moderate more appealing heading into the midterm elections, according to Politico. Aguilar, who is the whip for the Hispanic Caucus, would likely also gather support from that body, it added.


“It’s going to be more important than ever that we have a caucus that works for everyone, and I think making sure that that inclusiveness is a primary piece of this vice chair position…to make sure we are all working together,” Aguilar told the news outlet. 

“If we’re going to get to a majority, there are quite a few purple and red districts in which members might be Blue Dogs and New Democrats,” he added. “So I think bringing these groups together to make sure they’re having conversations along the way so no one is surprised, is going to be essential.”