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Democrat launches bid for assistant leader

Democrat launches bid for assistant leader
© Greg Nash
 
Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineJustice Department charges Google with illegally maintaining search monopoly Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Jewish lawmakers targeted by anti-Semitic tweets ahead of election: ADL 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 ClyburnFinger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight Cedric Richmond's next move: 'Sky's the limit' if Biden wins Candymakers meet virtually with lawmakers for annual fly-in, discuss Halloween safety 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 SánchezBottom line Dozens of Democrats plan to vote remotely in a first for the House Five things to watch for at this year's Oscars MORE (D-Calif.) and Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeOcasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Democrats accuse tech companies of deceitful tactics in campaign against Calif. ballot measure Congress fiddles while the US burns, floods, and ails 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 ClarkPocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Democratic leaders: Supreme Court fight is about ObamaCare Rep. Robin Kelly enters race for Democratic 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.