Democrat launches bid for assistant leader

Democrat launches bid for assistant leader
© Greg Nash
 
Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHere are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act House approves anti-LGBT discrimination Equality Act Rhode Island lawmaker makes pitch to firms boycotting Georgia abortion law 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 ClyburnDems want climate change, tax hikes in infrastructure deal New Mexico Dems brace for crowded race to succeed Udall Democrats hurting themselves with handling of Ilhan Omar controversy 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 SánchezWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns Hispanic Dems announce task forces for 116th Congress MORE (D-Calif.) and Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeOvernight Health Care: HHS issues rule requiring drug prices in TV ads | Grassley, Wyden working on plan to cap drug costs in Medicare | Warren to donate money from family behind opioid giant Dem lawmaker shares video of herself dancing to Beyonce for Dance Week Lawmakers renew push to create American Latino Smithsonian museum 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 ClarkPelosi calls for investments in child care, early education A workplace safety solution Anita Hill would be proud of Senate Dems put brakes on Trump impeachment talk 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.