Katherine Clark Elected House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair

Massachusetts Democrat becomes second-highest-ranking woman, behind Pelosi

Rep. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., was elected to serve as the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus in the 116th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Massachusetts Rep. Katherine M. Clark was elected House Democratic Caucus vice chair for the 116th Congress, handily beating California Rep. Pete Aguilar

The vote tally was 144-90. 

Clark’s election to the No. 6 leadership position makes her the highest-ranking woman in the caucus, behind Nancy Pelosi, assuming the Democratic leader wins the Jan. 3 speaker election on the floor. 

In a brief interview after the vote, Clark said she felt good about her support going in, adding that she's grateful to receive the backing she did.

"It is truly an honor to be elected by your colleagues," she said. "Pete Aguilar is a friend and someone I admire a great deal, so I am relieved to have the race over. It's never fund to run against someone that you like so much."

She and Aguilar are both appropriators and well-respected within the caucus but with different ideological bases of support. Clark is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, while Aguilar is a member of the more moderate New Democrat Coalition. 

Leadership candidates are nominated by one of their supporters and a handful of other allies second the nominations, all of whom speak to the candidates’ qualifications. 

Clark was nominated by Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III and seconded by Reps. Grace Meng of New York and Val B. Demings of Florida. 

Aguilar was nominated by Washington Rep. Derek Kilmer and seconded by Del. Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands. 

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