Politics

Raskin and Reps.-Elect Hill and Neguse Elected to Junior Leadership Posts

Raskin to represent members serving five or fewer terms, Hill and Neguse to represent freshmen

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., will serve in elected Democratic leadership in the 116th Congress representing the members in the five most junior congressional classes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin was elected Thursday to serve as the Democratic Caucus’s representative for members who’ve served five or fewer terms.

The low-rung leadership position was created in 2016 to give more junior members a seat at the leadership table. Only members who are in those five most junior classes can vote in the election for the position. 

Raskin, who was just elected to his second term, beat Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, who won a fifth term earlier this month. The vote was 65-57.

“We’re going to have regular monthly meetings of the five junior classes so we can mobilize the best ideas for our legislative agenda and for public policy change,” Raskin said in a brief interview after the vote.

“We have an extraordinary youthful cohort in Congress right now, which needs to be heard and it needs to be seen by the American people,” he added. “And so I want to be an instrument for the empowerment of the junior members of Congress.”

The current representative for the five most junior classes, California Rep. Tony Cárdenas, could not run again since the position is limited to one term. 

The freshman class also has a place at the leadership table. The roughly 60 incoming freshmen for the 116th Congress elected California’s Katie Hill and Colorado’s Joe Neguse to represent them. Two years ago, the freshman class picked Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is leaving after this Congress following an unsuccessful bid for governor. 

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