Hispanic Caucus picks Castro as its next chair

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) picked Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroBlack, Latino communities suffering disproportionately from coronavirus, statistics show Lawmakers call on Trump administration to address Puerto Rico's vulnerability to COVID-19 Texas House Dems ask governor to issue stay-at-home order MORE (D-Texas) as its new chairman Friday, replacing New Mexico Gov.-elect Rep. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamStates urge citizens to stay at home, businesses to suspend in-person operations Governors plead with Trump for more coronavirus supplies, testing Five Latinas who could be Biden's running mate MORE (D).

“After two years of the Administration’s unrelenting attacks against the Latino community, I’m humbled to be elected Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and be granted the opportunity to uphold our nation’s values," Castro told CHC members in his acceptance speech.

The CHC will have a record 39 members as of January, up from 31 in this Congress.

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"As a Caucus, we plan to work on creating opportunities for all Americans by removing barriers to education, raising minimum wages, increasing diversity across all sectors, lowering the cost of health care, and pushing back against climate change,” added Castro.

The leadership slate was approved unanimously by CHC members.

Castro was the group's first vice chair under Lujan Grisham. Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoOvernight Defense: Trump 'may look into' dismissal of Navy captain | Acting Navy chief stands by speech calling ousted captain 'stupid' | Dems call for chief's firing | Hospital ship to take coronavirus patients Pentagon gets heat over protecting service members from coronavirus Overnight Defense: Lawmakers call for probe into aircraft carrier captain's firing | Sailors cheer ousted commander | Hospital ship to ease screening process for patients MORE (D-Ariz.) will take over that slot after serving as second vice chair.

CHC elections traditionally move leadership members up one slot, adding a new member to the slate to take over the No. 4 whip slot.

"Having a slate means as people are moving they get experience, get to know the members, they have a sense about what their style leadership priorities are going to be," Lujan Grisham told The Hill.

The incoming slate will include two members new to CHC leadership, as outgoing 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.), the caucus's whip, chose to run for House Democratic Caucus vice chair instead, a position he lost to 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.).

"While we've had a whip position, our ability to lead and maneuver, particularly in the minority, has never been as effective as it was with Pete at the helm," said Lujan Grisham.

Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) will serve as the group's second vice chair, and Rep. Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralObama presses for social distancing policies to remain in place Self-quarantined New York lawmaker: 'We should be in total lockdown' Activists, analysts demand Congress consider immigrants in coronavirus package MORE (D-N.Y.) will take over as whip.