Clark wins spot as Dem Caucus vice chair

Clark wins spot as Dem Caucus vice chair
© Greg Nash

Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkHouse Dems rallying behind border deal with 55 miles of barriers Pelosi, Dem leaders urge Omar to apologize for 'anti-Semitic' tweet Trump, Dems have reasons to work together, but tensions are boiling over MORE (D-Mass.) joined the Democratic leadership ranks on Wednesday, beating out Rep. Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarLeft flexes muscle in immigration talks Immigration groups press for pairing Dreamer benefits with border security Lawmakers haggling over border dollars much lower than Trump's demand 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' Winners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency 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.