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Rep. Edwards gets important symbolic role during Democratic leadership elections

By Ben Pershing

On a day when two fellow Maryland lawmakers got important titles and another Maryland native remained the House's top Democrat, Rep. Donna Edwards got to play a small but symbolically important role in the process.

House Democrats are holding their leadership elections Wednesday, picking current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) -- the daughter of former Baltimore Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. -- to stay on as Minority Leader in the next Congress. They also chose Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.) to serve as Minority Whip and are expected to name Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) the top Democrat on the Budget Committee as well.

Edwards -- whose 4th district includes parts of Prince George's and Montgomery counties -- wasn't on any of the ballots, but she did get to make her voice heard during the Democratic Caucus' private meeting in the Cannon House Office Building.

Each candidate for leadership traditionally has other members nominate them for the positions and speak on their behalf, and those members are typically chosen with care to reflect the candidate's broad support in the Democratic caucus. Edwards was asked by Hoyer to nominate him for his post, and she also seconded the nominations of two other lawmakers -- Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) for the position of Assistant Leader, and Rep. John Larson (Conn.) for the post of Democratic Caucus Chairman.

Only one other member was A few other members were asked to nominate two leadership candidates Wednesday, but Edwards was the only Democrat to nominate three different lawmakers. A senior Democratic aide noted that the fact that her public support was so widely-sought indicates the respect she holds all around the leadership table after less than three years in Congress.

By Ben Pershing  | November 17, 2010; 3:43 PM ET
Categories:  Ben Pershing  
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