Tags: House Democrats | Nancy Pelosi | minority leader | Chris Van Hollen

Democrats Begin Jockeying to Replace Nancy Pelosi

Image: Democrats Begin Jockeying to Replace Nancy Pelosi
(Joshua Roberts/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 09:53 AM

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has no plans to end her 12-year tenure at the helm of the Democratic Party, but some of her colleagues are already positioning themselves to fill her shoes when the time comes for her to abdicate her leadership.

According to Politico, the jockeying was triggered after Pelosi's deputy, Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, announced his decision to run for retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski's Senate seat. Now more than a dozen Democrats are considering how they might climb the ladder into leadership positions.

"Nothing is automatic when Nancy leaves," Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva told Politico. "Nothing."

New York Rep. Joe Crowley is looking for the next step he will take, having raised millions of dollars of campaign funds for colleagues in difficult races last year. Reps. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Terri Sewell of Alabama are also hoping to move up the ladder.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, is also in line to move up. He has the advantage of seniority and has been a loyal supporter of the administration.

Nevertheless, Pelosi has consolidated her grip on the leadership and has shown no signs that she intends to end her tenure. Van Hollen's departure, however, is what has stimulated the behind-the-scenes scheming over who will take over when she leaves and other members retire, Politico said.

"There is a pretty large talent pool … in the Democratic Caucus that could emerge whenever the next generation of leadership is called upon. There is a lot of talent," Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly told Politico.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer holds the No. 2 spot, but the 75-year-old would likely be challenged by younger members when Pelosi eventually steps down. But Hoyer already has the experience, having served as majority leader from 2007 to 2011.

The party is also keen to make it known there is a diverse group of lawmakers represented in its upper echelons.

"Our caucus has a very young group, and I anticipate that whoever is running the show for our side will understand there will have to be special attention paid to Latinos," Grijalva told Politico. "As we go further into the process, that will be one of our tasks."

"It's imperative that we have an African-American in the top leadership of the Democratic Caucus. All of the Democrats understand that," North Carolina Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield told Politico. 

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has no plans to end her 12-year tenure at the helm of the Democratic party but some of her colleagues are already positioning themselves to fill her shoes when the time comes for her to abdicate her leadership.
House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, minority leader, Chris Van Hollen
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2015-53-24
Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 09:53 AM
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