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Louisiana’s Rep. Cedric Richmond appointed Assistant to the Majority Whip

Recently, CBC Member Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08) was elected chair of the Democratic Caucus, and Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn (D-SC-06) was elected Majority Whip, making it the first time in history that two African Americans will hold top leadership positions in Congress at the same time.

In a statement, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, U.S. Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02), discussed the significance of the historic elections for the CBC and its members.

“When the Congressional Black Caucus was founded in 1971, I know our 13 founding members dreamed of the day when we would have more than one member in our ranks competing for top leadership positions in Congress. Today was that day, and I know they are proud,” Richmond stated. “When Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries articulated to our colleagues why they were the best candidate for Democratic Caucus chair, it was one of the best displays of Black brilliance that I have seen in a long time. The unfortunate part of their race against each other was that one of them had to lose.”

Richmond’s statement went on to congratulate both Jeffries and Clyburn.

“I congratulate Congressman Jeffries on being elected Democratic Caucus chair; he has more than demonstrated during his time in Congress that he is ready to lead in this position,” he wrote. “I also congratulate Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn on being elected Majority Whip. There are few Democrats who have done more than Assistant Democratic Leader Clyburn to mentor young members of Congress and make sure that Democrats win elections.”

Richmond went on to state, “When former congressman George Henry White, the last African-American congressman to leave Congress before the Jim Crow Era, left office in 1901, he said in his famous farewell address, ‘This is perhaps the Negroes’ temporary farewell to the American Congress, but let me say, Phoenix-like he will rise up some day and come again. Next Congress, the CBC will have 55 members, including two who will be in top leadership positions and five who will chair full House committees. Former Congressman George Henry White was right, and the Phoenix has risen.”

Richmond’s role in Congress is rising as well. Earlier this month, Clyburn appointed the Louisiana Democrat as Assistant to the Majority Whip.

“In my campaign for Majority Whip, I promised to involve every segment of our Caucus and empower the next generation of leaders as integral parts of the Whip team. In keeping with that commitment. I have named Representative Cedric Richmond (LA-02) Assistant to the Majority Whip,” Clyburn announced in a written statement. “In the coming days, I will announce a history-making staff to further undergird that commitment.   I am very excited for the diverse set of experiences and talents these members and staff will bring to the table.

Clyburn’s additional appointments include Representatives John Lewis (GA-05) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) as Senior Chief Deputy Whips. Other returning Chief Deputy Whips are Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Terri Sewell (AL-07).  They will be joined by Representatives Shelia Jackson Lee  (TX-18), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), and Henry Cuellar (TX-28).

“As we fill out the rest of the Whip team in the coming days and weeks we will seek input from across the Caucus including many of the Caucus’s younger members and our historic incoming freshman class to ensure their voices are heard.”

New Orleans Tribune staff contributed to this report.

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