Cicilline Announces Bid for Assistant Democratic Leader

Rhode Island lawmaker says he can go "toe-to-toe" with "other side"

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., will run for assistant Democratic leader if his party takes back the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline will run for assistant Democratic leader next Congress if his party retakes the House, he announced in a letter to his colleagues Thursday.

“We need to make sure that we have a leadership team that can hit the ground running to pass our legislative agenda and to hold President Trump accountable for his actions,” Cicilline wrote. “In committee and on the Floor, I’ve proven that I can go toe-to-toe with the other side of the aisle and that I won’t back down.”

Cicilline, who is in his fourth term representing Rhode Island’s 1st District, currently co-chairs the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, also a leadership position.

The incumbent assistant Democratic Leader is Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, who would presumably move up in the leadership ranks if Democrats win a majority this November. The House Democratic Caucus elected the assistant leader, who would rank behind the speaker, majority leader and majority whip positions.

Cicilline referenced his status as “one of only six openly LGBT members of the House” as a credential. He said it was “crucial” that the Democratic leadership team “represent and reflect the diversity and strength of the Democratic party.”

The Rhode Island lawmaker is one of 17 Democrats who have either expressed interest in moving up or running for leadership positions in the next Congress or have said they are keeping their options open.

Other leadership races are already shaping up. California Reps. Linda T. Sánchez and Barbara Leeare running for caucus chair. Sánchez would leave behind the vice chair position, which fellow California Pete Aguilar and Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts are both seeking

Flashback: Win or Lose in the Midterms, Top Democratic Leaders Could Shuffle in House

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