Source: Hoyer has the votes in Minority Whip contest
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland formally announced his candidacy Monday for House Minority Whip, the second-ranking position in the House Democratic leadership.
Hoyer is currently the second-ranking Dem, as Majority Leader, a position he'll lose when the Republicans take over in January. The southern Maryland congressman had been seen by some as a possible Minority Leader in the next Congress but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided she wanted the job after her demotion from the top spot in the House.
Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest ranking African-American in Congress, has also announced his pursuit of the Whip position.
A source close to Hoyer said the Marylander has the votes to win. The election will be conducted by secret ballot, and there's no guarantee that the pledges he has received will actually turn into votes. However, a defeat at this point would be a major surprise.
Clyburn may wind up getting another position in the leadership, as top Democrats attempt to work out a plan that would head off a messy internal fight, probably the last thing they need after getting stomped in last week's midterm elections.
Hoyer's statement announcing his candidacy and a copy of his message to his Democratic colleagues after the jump.
MAJORITY LEADER STENY H. HOYER (MD) RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT TODAY TO ANNOUNCE HIS BID FOR DEMOCRATIC WHIP:
“OVER THE PAST SEVERAL DAYS, I HAVE TALKED TO MOST OF MY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES IN THE HOUSE. I HAVE RECEIVED SUPPORT FROM ACROSS THE BREADTH OF OUR CAUCUS TO REMAIN IN THE SECOND RANKING POSITION OF OUR DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP TEAM. IN ORDER TO DEFEND AND BUILD ON OUR DEMOCRATIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS, UNIFY OUR CAUCUS, AND IMMEDIATELY BEGIN THE HARD WORK OF WINNING BACK THE MAJORITY, I WILL BE RUNNING FOR DEMOCRATIC WHIP. TOGETHER, DEMOCRATS MUST WORK TO CREATE JOBS AND REBUILD AMERICAN MANUFACTURING, PRESERVE OUR FISCAL FUTURE, AND HOLD REPUBLICANS ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANY POLICIES THAT FAVOR THE SPECIAL INTERESTS OVER MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS. AS DEMOCRATIC WHIP, I WILL WORK WITH AND LISTEN TO ALL OF OUR CAUCUS’S MEMBERS IN OUR SHARED EFFORT TO ACHIEVE THOSE GOALS.”
MAJORITY LEADER HOYER SENT THE FOLLOWING LETTER TO ALL DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS TODAY:
IN MY CONVERSATIONS WITH MY COLLEAGUES ABOUT THE FUTURE OF OUR DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS, I HAVE BEEN ENCOURAGED BY THE NUMBER OF MY FELLOW DEMOCRATS WHO HAVE URGED ME TO REMAIN THE SECOND-RANKING MEMBER OF OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM IN THE HOUSE. THEY SHARE THE GOAL OF WINNING BACK THE HOUSE MAJORITY FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AND THEY BELIEVE, AS I DO, THAT ACHIEVING THAT GOAL WILL REQUIRE AN EXPERIENCED LEADERSHIP TEAM THAT CAN UNIFY OUR CAUCUS, AGGRESSIVELY DEFINE OUR OPPONENTS, AND FIGHT EVERY DAY FOR THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THAT’S WHY I’M RUNNING FOR DEMOCRATIC WHIP.
I HAVE BEEN PROUD TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HISTORIC WORK OF THE 111TH CONGRESS: I’VE BEEN A LEADER WHO HAS LISTENED, AND WHO HAS BUILT UNITY AROUND THE DEMOCRATIC PRIORITIES WE SHARE. AND I BELIEVE THAT THOSE QUALITIES WILL BE JUST AS NEEDED IN THE NEXT CONGRESS, AS WE RESPOND TO THE FRUSTRATION SO MANY AMERICANS RIGHTLY FEEL OVER ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND OUR FISCAL FUTURE. DEMOCRATS WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE VALUES THAT HAVE MADE OUR PARTY THE CHAMPION OF WORKING AMERICANS. WE WILL FIGHT TO PARTNER WITH OUR NATION’S WORKERS AND BUSINESS COMMUNITY TO SPUR A REBIRTH OF AMERICAN MANUFACTURING AND CREATE WELL-PAYING JOBS THROUGH THE MAKE IT IN AMERICA AGENDA; WE WILL CONTINUE OUR DRIVE TO UNLEASH A CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION THAT WILL HELP POWER OUR ECONOMY; AND WE WILL PROTECT THE MIDDLE CLASS FROM ATTACKS ON CRITICAL PROGRAMS—SUCH AS HEALTH CARE REFORM, SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, AND MEDICAID—THAT MEAN SECURITY FOR MILLIONS.
AMERICANS WANT POSITIVE SOLUTIONS TO SPEED OUR RECOVERY AND CREATE JOBS. BUT THEY DID NOT VOTE TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE REFORM, PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY, WEAKEN RULES FOR CORPORATIONS, AND PASS DEBT-FUNDED TAX CUTS FOR AMERICA’S BEST-OFF. AS DEMOCRATIC WHIP, I WILL HIT THE GROUND RUNNING, DELIVERING OUR MESSAGE ACROSS THE COUNTRY, SPEAKING OUT ON THE HOUSE FLOOR AGAINST EFFORTS TO UNDERMINE THE HEALTH AND SECURITY OF THE MIDDLE CLASS, BUILDING SUPPORT FOR OUR PARTY AMONG ALL AMERICANS, AND FIGHTING THE SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY THAT OVERWHELMED MANY OF OUR COLLEAGUES.
ABOVE ALL, I WILL HELP TO ENGAGE THE FULL TALENTS THAT OUR CAUCUS HAS TO OFFER AND CONTINUE TO ENSURE THAT ALL MEMBERS’ VOICES ARE HEARD. IN THE DAYS AHEAD, I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ROAD IN FRONT OF US. AND I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE THE STRONG SUPPORT THAT I HAVE RECEIVED TO BE ELECTED DEMOCRATIC WHIP.
WITH WARMEST PERSONAL REGARDS, I AM
Steny H. Hoyer