Rep. Ben Ray Luján Elected Assistant Democratic Leader

Outgoing campaign chairman moves up to No. 4 leadership post

Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., will be the new assistant Democratic leader in the 116th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outgoing Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján is moving up a few leadership rungs after he was elected by acclimation Wednesday to serve in the No. 4 post of assistant Democratic leader next Congress. 

The New Mexico Democrat ran unopposed but had initially faced two challengers for the position.

Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois and David Cicilline of Rhode Island, outgoing co-chairs of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, had announced bids for assistant leader before the Nov. 6 election.

But when Luján announced his candidacy after the election in which he played a critical role in Democrats winning the majority, Bustos and Cicilline both dropped out to run for other positions, saying Luján deserved to be rewarded for his hard work.

Bustos is running to replace Luján as DCCC chair and Cicilline is running for a newly created position of DPCC chair, which will rank higher than the three co-chairs. 

Luján is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and his win will provide that group with a high-ranking voice in leadership.

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