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Colorado’s Neguse eyes No. 4 spot in Democratic House leadership

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Colorado’s Neguse eyes No. 4 spot in Democratic House leadership

Feb 20, 2024 | 5:55 pm ET
By Lindsey Toomer
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Colorado’s Neguse eyes No. 4 spot in Democratic House leadership
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U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, left, and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries talk about gun violence prevention during a roundtable at the Renée Crown Wellness Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder on Aug. 21, 2023. (Chloe Anderson for Colorado Newsline)

A Colorado congressman is vying for the fourth highest-ranking position in Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Rep. Joe Neguse, a Lafayette Democrat, announced his bid for assistant leader after South Carolina’s Jim Clyburn decided to step down to create opportunity for new leadership. Clyburn was the last remaining Democratic leader who served under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

Neguse currently chairs the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee and is a “Clyburn protege,” a Neguse spokesperson said, as the two developed a close working relationship. Neguse would continue to be the only representative from a non-coastal state serving in Democratic leadership. He is currently running unopposed. 

In a letter to colleagues seeking support for his candidacy, Neguse praised Clyburn’s “invaluable guidance” during his time in leadership and said he’d be honored to “build on his distinguished legacy.”

“As a son of immigrants, the first Black Congressperson elected by the State of Colorado, and as someone who represents a large rural and suburban district, with agricultural communities extending all the way to the Wyoming border, I’ve long worked hard to effectively communicate to a broad constituency,” Neguse wrote in the letter. “I’ve adopted that same approach as a member of the leadership team, ensuring that voices from across our caucus and the ideological spectrum are elevated, included, and heard. With your support, I’d be honored to do the same as Assistant Democratic Leader.” 

Neguse said that if elected, his goals would include modernizing professional development opportunities, launching a one-stop-shop for district and state data and other materials, and enhancing orientation programs for new members.

Republicans currently hold a majority in the House.

First elected in 2018, Neguse represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, which is anchored in Boulder and stretches west along the Interstate 70 corridor and north to include Fort Collins. He is a co-founder of New Era Colorado and also served as a University of Colorado regent before joining Congress.