Congressman Joe Crowley announced on Thursday afternoon that he is seeking to become the chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives after it was reported that he had been considering a possible challenge to Nancy Pelosi as the caucus leader.
The position of chairperson, currently held by Congressman Xavier Becerra of California, is the fourth-highest within the caucus. The Hill reported on Wednesday that House Democrats were attempting to convince Crowley, currently the vice chair of the Democratic caucus, to run against Pelosi, the former speaker of the house, for the party’s leadership in the House.
In a letter to fellow Democrats in the House on Thursday, Crowley said that the results of the Nov. 8 election — in which Republicans retained their majorities in the House and Senate, and their nominee, Donald Trump, was elected president — signaled that House Democrats “must be focused on developing policies and messages that better resonate with the American people.” To achieve that goal and bring the Democrats back into the majority in the future, he said, “a truly collaborative effort” is needed among party members.
“I am committed to creating an inclusive environment within our caucus, which means broadening beyond the usual messengers and building our strategies and our goals from the ground up,” Crowley wrote.
Locally, Congressman Crowley serves as chair of the Queens Democratic Party. He noted that his district, which covers much of northwest Queens and the Bronx, “is one of the most diverse places in the nation, but what my constituents all have in common is a desire to ensure a better life for themselves and their children.”
Crowley is just the latest New Yorker looking to gain a leadership spot in Washington, D.C., these days. Trump is in line to become the first Queens native to hold the Oval Office (even though he currently lives in Manhattan), and Senator Charles Schumer, a Brooklyn native, was elected on Wednesday as the U.S. Senate’s minority leader.
As Crowley seeks the caucus chair’s seat, it appears Pelosi could be challenged by Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan for the caucus leadership, according to CNN.