Members of Color Could Shake Up House Leadership Race in 2018
The 2018 midterms could shake up control of the House and have already opened up at least one post in Democratic leadership, regardless of whether control shifts or not: the number four role currently held by Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY) after his primary loss to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) has already started talking to her colleagues about running for Chair of the House Democratic Conference. “I was not seriously considering this until Tuesday night,” Lee said. “I could bring a vision to this job based on my work with different caucuses — my time as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, my record with the Congressional Black Caucus.” And Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA), currently the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Conference, is also throwing her name into in the mix. “I think that I would be a good caucus chair; having said that I’m not making any announcements,” Sánchez said on Tuesday. Sources tell The Beat DC that Sánchez’s bid is the “natural evolution but the issue is that Crowley was a big ally of hers. Without him, not sure what that all looks like.” As a reminder, Sánchez and Lee both ran for Vice Chair of the Democratic Conference, with Lee losing by one vote to Sánchez. Some have mentioned making a push for Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the Assistant Democratic Leader and third-ranking House Democrat, to replace current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) if Dems do not take back the House. "If Pelosi can't do it, we will push Jim for Speaker. Those discussions are going on right now," one CBC member said to Politico. Others have mentioned DCCC Chair Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) -- whose candidacy would receive a significant boost if he helps lead House Dems to victory; Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-LA); Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), whose work on criminal justice reform has garnered attention, and Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH), as some of the other members of color at the top of the list of names being floated already for leadership slots. Other names in the mix include Cheri Bustos (IL), Joe Kennedy (MA), Adam Schiff (CA), and Mark Pocan (WI).