Nov 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

LGTBQ+ leaders back Cicilline for House leadership

Commercial and Administrative Law House Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline speaks

Rep. David N. Cicilline. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool via AFP

A large group of LGTBQ+ leaders is endorsing Rep. David N. Cicilline in his bid to become assistant speaker of the House of Representatives.

Why it matters: Cicilline, the only openly gay member of the House leadership, is running against Rep. Katherine M. Clark for the fourth-ranking position in the House Democratic caucus as voting takes place this week.

The big picture: With House Democrats led by three people aged 80 or more, the contest for the No. 4 position could determine who will lead their party caucus - and be in line for the Speaker's slot - when the old guard steps aside.

  • The letter backing Cicilline and obtained by Axios is signed by more than 100 Democratic office holders and strategists, including Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Maine Speaker-elect Ryan Fecteau, former Speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn, President of the Human Rights Campaign Alphonso David and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen.
  • Cicilline, D-R.I., "remains the only openly LGBTQ+ member of leadership," the letter says. "He has been a critical representative for our community. We cannot afford to lose his voice now."

Separately, the Human Rights Campaign has endorsed Cicciline: "For all the fights we have ahead, we are proud to support him."

  • The former Providence mayor currently serves as chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
  • Clark, a fellow New Englander from Massachusetts, serves a vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
  • She previously announced the backing of Re. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, one of two co-chairs of the influential Congressional Progressive Caucus.
  • Pocan also serves as a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Maine's speaker-elect is Ryan Fecteau, not Matt Fecteau, who was incorrectly listed in the letter obtained by Axios.

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