The CBC Wants A Black Representative As Speaker Or Majority Leader If Democrats Win The House

"We have never had an African American in either of the top two leadership positions,” said Richmond.

Photo credit:Andrew Harnik / AP

| November 02 2018,

7:34 pm

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA) wants more Black representation at the top of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, according to The Hill. Should the Democratic Party regain its majority in the House following the midterm elections, Richmond would like a Black representative to hold the speaker or majority leader position. 

“Over the past couple of weeks, several of our colleagues have respectfully shared letters of intent expressing interest in various House Democratic Caucus leadership positions,” Richmond wrote in a letter sent on Thursday, according to Politico. “It is within that context that I’d like to reiterate that if there is any change in our top leadership positions the Democratic members of the CBC endorse African American representation in at least one of the two top positions of elected House Democratic Caucus leadership.”

The current Democratic leaders are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

House Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn (D-SC) is the highest ranking Black Democrat in the House. He held Hoyer's position during the Obama years, from 2007 to 2011. Pelosi and Hoyer have both made it clear they plan on holding the speaker and majority leader jobs, respectively, should the Democrats take the House; Clyburn has said he has no plans to seek a higher position in his party unless Pelosi can't gather enough support to be speaker.

However, Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn are all part of an elder generation of representatives. Newer, younger Democrats want a seat at the high table, and some Democrats reportedly believe putting Clyburn in the top spot could make for a smooth transition of power over to the next generation.

It remains to be seen if Democrats will sweep the House on Election Day; analysts have said the group's chances are good. Either way, the CBC is looking to secure a place among party leadership for its members.

“After 229 years as a Congress, we have never had an African American in either of the top two leadership positions,” Richmond said. “It’s time we walk our talk and provide the transformational change our constituents are calling for.”

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