U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D) is entering House Democratic leadership. Raskin was elected Thursday to serve as the Democratic Caucus’s representative for junior members – those who have served five or fewer terms.
House Democrats created the leadership position in the last Congress to give more junior members input into leadership decisions. Only members who have served five terms or less are eligible to vote to select their liaison to leadership.
Touting his progressive credentials, Raskin, who is entering his second term, defeated Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell (D), a four-term centrist, in a 65-57 vote.
“I am gratified to have won the support of my fellow junior colleagues, including the 65 Members of the extraordinary Class of 2018, in this quest,” Raskin said in a statement. “I will be a passionate servant for the political values, interests and ideas of Junior Members and, as a Member who proudly represents Maryland’s 8th District, I will always be here to stand up for the ambitious reforms in Washington that the new classes are seeking.”
Raskin said he would hold regular meetings with junior Democrats “in order to promote the broadest possible participation in agenda-setting and brainstorming. My goal is to make certain that the issues we campaigned on in 2018 dominate the Democratic agenda in the new Congress and that the great new Members we have elected in the junior classes become part of the face and voice and leadership of the new Congress.”
House Democratic leaders created the position in 2016 amid grumbling that leadership ranks were dominated by long-serving members. The person who holds the position to which Raskin was just elected can only serve one term. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) held it in the current Congress.