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Democrat launches bid for assistant leader

Democrat launches bid for assistant leader
© Greg Nash
 
Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump defends 2016 Russia business dealings | North American leaders sign new trade pact | Clinton doesn't tamp down 2020 talk How Nancy Pelosi won more votes for Speaker than anyone expected Rihanna on US Border Patrol firing tear gas at migrants: ‘Terrorism’ MORE (D-R.I.) on Thursday launched a bid to become the assistant Democratic leader in the next Congress, the latest in a slow trickle of ambitious lawmakers who’ve announced efforts to advance into the higher ranks of the party brass following November’s midterm elections.
 
The announcement is not a direct challenge to any current leader, as Cicilline is hinging his campaign on whether the Democrats are successful in capturing control of the House next year. In that case, the current assistant leader, Rep. Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnClyburn calls for new election and GOP primary in North Carolina House Dems worry about lack of women of color in leadership Moulton says no deal reached with Pelosi on leadership changes MORE (D-S.C.), is expected to seek a higher spot, leaving the assistant leader seat open. 
 
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Cicilline is the first to announce publicly his interest in the post, though he is not expected to go unopposed. If successful, he would be the fourth-ranking House Democrat under a Democratic majority.
 
The four-term Cicilline is the first openly gay member of the leadership, having been elected in 2016 as one of three co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC). He was formerly the mayor of Providence, R.I., and has been on the front lines of the Democratic efforts to rein in gun violence and overhaul the campaign finance system.
 
In a letter to colleagues, Cicilline, 57, presented himself as a feisty defender of Democratic ideals with the executive experience to cut deals and get things done. 
 
“In Committee and on the Floor, I've proven that I can go toe-to-toe with the other side of the aisle and that I won't back down,” Cicilline wrote. “As a former mayor of a major city, I have the skills that are necessary to build coalitions and deliver results. And as one of only six openly LGBT members of the House, I believe it is crucial that our leadership team represent and reflect the diversity and strength of the Democratic Party.”
 
With his letter, Cicilline joins a short list of House Democrats who have announced their interest in new leadership posts next year. 
 
Reps. Linda SanchezLinda Teresa SánchezHouse Dems worry about lack of women of color in leadership Rep. Linda Sanchez’s husband indicted on corruption charges Sanchez withdraws from race for Dem Caucus chair MORE (D-Calif.) and Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeBlack Caucus chairman pushes back against committee term limits Progressive rep says she’s ‘very disappointed' by Barbara Lee’s loss in bid for Dem caucus chair House Dems worry about lack of women of color in leadership MORE (D-Calif.) are vying to replace Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), who was ousted in a shocking primary contest earlier this year. And Reps. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkHispanic Caucus picks Castro as its next chair Progressive rep says she’s ‘very disappointed' by Barbara Lee’s loss in bid for Dem caucus chair Clark wins spot as Dem Caucus vice chair MORE (D-Mass.) and Peter Aguilar (D-Calif.) are both seeking the caucus vice-chairmanship, which is currently held by Sanchez.
 
Many other lawmakers are not ruling out the possibility of launching their own campaigns to enter the leadership ranks — a topic of particular interest amid growing calls within the Caucus for generational change at the top of the party. Most of those lawmakers, however, appear to be awaiting the outcome of November’s elections before finalizing those decisions.