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Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race

Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race
© Greg Nash

Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Tensions rise with Trump, Barr Maloney to lead Democrats' campaign arm Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet MORE (D-Mass.) on Tuesday officially threw her hat in the ring in the race for assistant Speaker, rolling out a series of key endorsements aimed at showing momentum in the now three-way competition.

Clark, who as vice chair of the Democratic Caucus is the second-highest woman on the leadership team, is facing Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Tensions rise with Trump, Barr Maloney to lead Democrats' campaign arm Hillicon Valley: GOP chairman says defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal | Senate panel advances FCC nominee | Krebs says threats to election officials 'undermining democracy' MORE (D-R.I.), who leads Democrats’ messaging arm, and Rep. Tony CardenasAntonio (Tony) CardenasMORE (D-Calif.), who runs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s political operation.

Clark’s top endorsement from Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanBattle for Pentagon post in Biden Cabinet heats up Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-Wis.) — one of two co-chairs of the influential Congressional Progressive Caucus and a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus — was a not-so-veiled shot at Cicilline. Cicilline is a vice chair of the Progressive Caucus and also serves alongside Pocan as a co-chair of the LGBT group; both Cicilline and Pocan are openly gay.

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“I am glad to support Congresswoman Katherine Clark because she always puts the needs of our Democratic Caucus members first in mind,” Pocan said in a statement. “Congress serves the people and Katherine has exemplified that service in her over seven years championing populist people-first legislation in the House."

“We need someone with her vision and commitment to bold solutions sitting at the leadership table,” he said.

Clark also rolled out support from Rep. Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerCongress must reclaim its Article I powers in order to earn back public trust Hillicon Valley: House panel says Intelligence Community not equipped to address Chinese threats | House approves bill to send cyber resources to state, local governments House approves legislation to send cybersecurity resources to state, local governments MORE (D-Wash.), chairman of the pro-business New Democrat Coalition; Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), a former Congressional Black Caucus chairman; and Rep. Grace MengGrace MengFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election MORE (D-N.Y.), a Democratic National Committee official and leading Asian American lawmaker; as well as Rep. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterDemocrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Pelosi seeks to put pressure on GOP in COVID-19 relief battle Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race MORE (D-N.H.), Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoOvernight Energy: Trump officials finalize plan to open up protected areas of Tongass to logging | Feds say offshore testing for oil can proceed despite drilling moratorium | Dems question EPA's postponement of inequality training Democrats question EPA postponement of environmental inequality training Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race MORE (D.N.Y.) and first-term Rep. Mary Gay ScanlonMary Gay ScanlonDemocratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Bipartisan lawmakers condemn Trump for declaring victory prematurely Progressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' MORE (D-Pa.).

Because the Big Three leaders — Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser MORE (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse Democrats pick DeLauro to lead Appropriations panel Congress faces late-year logjam Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms MORE (D-Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) — are all expected to cruise to reelection and hang onto their jobs, the three-person race for assistant Speaker is shaping up to be the most high-profile Democratic leadership race this year. 

The position can be a launching pad to higher office. Current Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, the first person to hold the newly created post, is poised to win a Senate seat in New Mexico this fall.

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With House lawmakers returning to Washington after their long summer recess, several other Democrats jumped into leadership races. 

Two freshmen, Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas), a former NFL player and the first African American to hold his Dallas-area seat, and Rep. Jason CrowJason CrowGiffords launches national Gun Owners for Safety group to combat the NRA House approves .2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall Lawmakers grill Pentagon over Trump's Germany drawdown MORE (D-Colo.), a decorated war veteran who served as one of seven prosecutors in President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE’s Senate impeachment trial, told colleagues they are running for “Caucus Leadership Representative,” a position which represents the five most junior classes on the leadership team.  

A big question among House Democrats is whether Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosMaloney to lead Democrats' campaign arm Democratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Ill.) stays on as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2022 cycle. She declined to say Tuesday when asked by The Hill about her future in leadership.

Standing in front of the Capitol, Bustos said she was “singularly focused” on helping reelect front-line Democrats on Nov. 3.