Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, New York Democrat, announced Thursday that he plans to run for chairman of the House Democratic Caucus in the next Congress.
“We have seized the majority; now we must keep it,” Mr. Jeffries wrote in a letter to his colleagues announcing his intentions.
“There is an unconventional president in the Oval Office who dominates the news cycle with his outrageous claims, name-calling and falsehoods,” Mr. Jeffries wrote. “Undoubtedly, he will try to use the House Democratic Caucus as a foil to explain his shortcomings and inability to lead.”
Mr. Jeffries said the members of the Democratic caucus are “the most diverse set of lawmakers in our nation’s history.”
“Our racial, religious, gender, ideological, sexual orientation and regional diversity is a great strength,” said Mr. Jeffries, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “However, it can only be unleashed if committees are fully empowered to work their will and a panoply of perspectives, experiences and ideas are embraced and harmonized.
Mr. Jeffries, first elected to Congress in 2012, made the announcement the day after Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi officially told colleagues she plans to run to be the next speaker of the House.
He’s currently a member of Democratic leadership, co-chairing the Democratic policy and communications committee along with Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois and David Cicilline of Rhode Island.
Reps. Linda Sánchez of California, the caucus’s vice chairwoman, and Barbara Lee of California have already announced they will run for caucus chair.
Rep Joseph Crowley, New York Democrat and the current chairman, lost to Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a June primary.