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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.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pence won't invoke 25th Amendment against Trump

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday that he will not invoke the 25th Amendment t0 remove President Trump from office because it would "set a terrible precedent."

Why it matters: Although Pence's announcement was expected, it paves the way for House Democrats to move forward with impeachment legislation.

Dave Lawler, author of World
50 mins ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.

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