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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.

Updated 49 mins ago - Sports

MLB headed for first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is headed for the first management lockout since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

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