Calif. Dem eyes House transport panel ranking member position

Rep. John GaramendiJohn Raymond GaramendiOvernight Defense: Lawmakers on edge over Iran tensions | Questions rise after State pulls personnel from Iraq | Senators demand briefing | House panel advances 0B Pentagon spending bill | Warren offers plan on climate threats to military House Dems unveil bill to limit Pentagon's ability to transfer military construction dollars Unchain seniors from chained inflation index MORE (D-Calif.) is throwing his name into the hat to become the new top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. 

Garamendi is currently the ranking member of the Transportation Committee’s Coast Guard and maritime subcommittee. 

He said Thursday that he is hoping to replace Rep. Nick RahallNick Joe RahallWe shouldn't allow politics to impede disaster relief Break the cycle of partisanship with infant, child health care programs Clinton mulls role in 2018 midterms MORE (D-W. Va.), who was defeated in his bid for an 18th term on Tuesday, as ranking Democrat on the transportation panel. 

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“A demonstrated ability to preserve Democratic ideals while working across the aisle to get things done will be crucial in the next Congress, and particularly in this Committee,” Garamendi wrote in a letter to the House Democratic Caucus. 

“With major legislative initiatives on the horizon that include surface transportation, FAA, and Amtrak reauthorization, the Democratic transportation agenda calls for a strong, inclusive, proactive leader who looks beyond divisive dualities to facilitate opportunity, momentum, and results,” he continued. “This is the leadership I aim to bring.”

Rahall, who was first elected to Congress in 1976, was defeated by Republican Evan JenkinsEvan Hollin JenkinsWest Virginia New Members 2019 Republican Carol Miller holds off Democrat in West Virginia House race Trump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report MORE on Tuesday. 

Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) is generally considered to be next in line for the ranking Democrat position on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. 

Garamendi, who was first elected in 2009, touted his work on the coast guard subpanel in the current Congress as his clarification for the ranking member post. 

“As Ranking Member of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, I have succeeded in building a constructive working relationship with my Republican counterpart to advance major reauthorization legislation in H.R. 4005, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act,” he wrote. “Our bipartisan bill passed the House by voice vote last April and may be signed into law before the end of this Congress. Chairman Hunter and I have also partnered on a number of initiatives where we’ve found common ground, including policies to promote domestic shipyards and U.S. merchant marine.”