Clark wins spot as Dem Caucus vice chair

Clark wins spot as Dem Caucus vice chair
© Greg Nash

Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkPelosi scrambles to secure quick passage of coronavirus aid Democrat says House vote on trillion aid deal could fall to Friday MA lawmakers press HHS secretary on status of state's protective equipment MORE (D-Mass.) joined the Democratic leadership ranks on Wednesday, beating out Rep. Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarBiden rolls out over a dozen congressional endorsements after latest primary wins Biden rise calms Democratic jitters Vulnerable Democrats brace for Sanders atop ticket MORE (D-Calif.) to become the vice chairwoman of the caucus in the next Congress.

The position is currently held by Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), who had vacated the seat in an initial run at the chairmanship spot — a bid she later abandoned.

Clark defeated Aguilar by a vote of 144-90 in the closed-ballot contest, staged in the Longworth Office Building on Capitol Hill, where the Democrats are conducting their leadership elections this week.

Clark’s victory means she will be the sixth-ranking Democrat in the leadership hierarchy next year, and the second most powerful woman in the caucus, behind Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTop Federal Reserve official: Further coronavirus stimulus bill may not be needed Schumer: Fired inspector general will be remembered as a 'hero' Clyburn says stimulus spending oversight committee will be 'forward looking' MORE (D-Calif.), should Pelosi prevail in her bid to retake the Speaker’s gavel.

ADVERTISEMENT

Clark vowed to use the post to advance legislation protecting retirement security, boosting Medicare and other health care programs, draining Washington of corruptive influences and fighting for equal pay between the genders.

“Let's get to work!” she said in a statement following her victory.

The Clark-Aguilar contest was a study in contrasts, pitting a liberal East Coast woman against a more moderate Hispanic hailing from California. Both lawmakers are popular within the caucus.

Clark held a stark fundraising advantage on the campaign trail this cycle, raising more than $3.6 million for the Democrats’ campaign arm — along with those Democratic candidates in the most tightly contested races around the country — versus $1.8 million for Aguilar.

Clark’s fundraising haul did not go unnoticed among the current leadership brass. Sánchez hailed Clark as someone who “worked tirelessly to help Democrats win back the majority” in the midterms.

“The voices of more women at the leadership table will be essential as our Caucus works to enact our agenda to help rebuild and strengthen America's middle class,” Sánchez said in a statement.