Clyburn says he stayed in House leadership to rep the south

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the No. 3 House Democrat, on Sunday cited a need for southern representation as a reason he chose to remain in the top tiers of Democratic leadership.

Clyburn earlier this month announced he will step down from his current leadership post along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), paving the way for a generational shift in the party leadership, but Clyburn, 82, is still seeking to serve as the fourth-ranking Democrat in the next Congress.

“We need to have a healthy blend of strength and knowledge,” Clyburn said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” with moderator Margaret Brennan.

“And look at our leadership, the south is left out of it,” Clyburn continued. “And what we are doing is trying to make sure that we do not tilt too far to the east or too far to the west, but maintain what we have here. There is no other southerner among the leadership, and we need the south.”

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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who represents Brooklyn, is expected to lead House Democrats as minority leader in the next term, followed by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) for the No. 2 and No. 3 posts, respectively.

But unlike Pelosi and Hoyer, who both indicated they will leave House leadership entirely in January, Clyburn has announced a bid to serve as assistant Democratic leader, which will be the No. 4 post in the next term. The three Democrats have all served together in various leadership posts since 2003.

“As we Democrats set about the work of retaking the majority in 2024 and re-electing our president, I humbly ask for your support to remain at the leadership table as the Assistant Democratic Leader, to work alongside our new generation of Democratic leaders which I hope to be Hakeem Jeffries, Katherine Clark, and Pete Aguilar,” Clyburn wrote in a letter to fellow lawmakers.

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