DeGette drops out of race for majority whip
Authors: Mark Harden, Ernest Luning - November 19, 2018 - Updated: November 20, 2018
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette has withdrawn her bid to become majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives next year.
The move by the Denver Democrat clears the way for Rep. James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, to be selected for the House Democrats’ third-highest-ranking position.
“Many of my supporters have expressed concern about pressure they are receiving to return the three senior leaders to their posts without opposition,” DeGette said in a statement. “We have enough work to do without this internal pressure. Therefore, I am withdrawing my bid for Whip at this time.”
DeGette had been lining up support for her bid for months and formerly announced herself as a candidate for the post the day after the midterm election, in which Democrats won control of the House.
Clyburn held the post — responsible for keeping track of Democratic lawmakers’ votes on legislation — in 2007-11, the last time Democrats led the chamber.
According to Roll Call, DeGette’s bid for the whip position “surprised and upset members of the Congressional Black Caucus who were backing Clyburn, especially since he was the only one of the top three longtime Democratic leaders [seeking to regain their leadership positions] to get a challenger.”
The Democrats’ leadership next year is expected to consist of U.S. Rep Nancy Pelosi, D-California, as speaker; U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, as majority leader; and Clyburn as whip.
DeGette, who has served in Congress since 1997, currently is one of the Democrats’ 10 chief deputy whips, a position appointed by the party’s whip. A spokesman said DeGette anticipates being re-appointed to the post following House leadership elections.