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The DCCC Chief's Next Move

Fresh off his role as the architect of his party's gains in the House, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) will seek to remain in his party's leadership -- making a run for the vacant Democratic Caucus chair job.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel
After leading the DCCC to victory in the 2006 midterms, Rep. Emanuel has his sights set on a Democratic leadership slot. (Reuters)

"We have a responsibility to carry through on the commitment of change and progress we made to the American people," said Emanuel in announcing his decision. In choosing a run for the fourth-ranking leadership post, Emanuel avoids a potentially divisive battle with the current Caucus Chairman -- Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.). Clyburn has made clear he will seek the Majority Whip position in the 110th Congress.

Emanuel referred to the averted fight, saying: "I seek this post, and not any other, because I believe what we need now is a unified Democratic caucus, focused squarely on the business of moving this country forward."

Emanuel is the only announced candidate for the job and has already won the endorsement of current caucus vice chair John Larson (D-Conn.). His decision not to challenge Clyburn means that the marquee battle within Democratic leadership will be between Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and John Murtha (D-Pa.) -- both of whom are seeking to become Majority Leader. Democrats will select their leadership team a week from today.

Republicans face multiple leadership fights. Outgoing Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has said he will not run for Minority Leader, but Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.) are in the race while Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) is still mulling a bid. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the current Majority Whip, will run for the same position in the minority and will be challenged by Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) and perhaps others.

A three way fight is expected to succeed Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Phil English (R-Pa.) have all expressed interest in the job. Republican leadership elections are set for next Friday.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 9, 2006; 3:36 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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