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Pelosi House Leadership

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., arrives for the House Democrats' leadership elections at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday. He was unanimously elected majority whip.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman James E. Clyburn was elected majority whip on Wednesday, once again becoming the third-highest ranking Democrat in the House.

Clyburn thanked his House Democratic colleagues in a statement he released after the vote.

“I am deeply honored to have the support of our caucus and humbly accept this position with a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” Clyburn said.

The 6th District congressman announced he was seeking the position after the Democrats gained a majority in the U.S. House in the Nov. 6 mid-term elections. He initially faced opposition from Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, before she withdrew from the race on Nov. 19.

Clyburn was unanimously elected by the House Democratic Caucus.

This will be Clyburn’s second stint as majority whip. He first served in the capacity from 2007 to 2011.

Democratic National Committee Associate Chair and Senior Counselor Jaime Harrison, an Orangeburg native, believes Clyburn will have an impact in the position. Harrison ran the whip operation when Clyburn was majority leader in the past.

“He has a history of being an effective whip and during that time he was successful in passing some major legislation, from the Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes Bill to the Affordable Care Act,” Harrison said.

Harrison also noted Clyburn is the only member of the House Democratic leadership from the South.

“It’s going to pay tremendous dividends to our state and to his district having him there at the leadership table and bringing up the issues that impact communities like those here in South Carolina, like Orangeburg,” he said.

“If we had to leave it up to bureaucrats, small towns and small communities wouldn’t get the priority. But having Jim Clyburn at the table, knowing the needs of communities like Orangeburg, the need to have good water, infrastructure and all, it provides a tremendous advocate for those communities and for the state,” Harrison stated.

Harrison also stated that, “once Jim Clyburn decides to step away, we’re going to lose a lot of seniority and a lot of clout in Washington D.C., so we better take advantage of every benefit we have of him at that leadership table.”

In his statement, Clyburn said, “America is already a great country: our challenge is to make its greatness apply fairly and equitably to all of its people."

"As the only member of elected leadership from a red state and largely rural district, I will work tirelessly to be a voice for the millions of Americans who feel left out and communities that are too often left behind,” he said.

“I am committed to staying connected to all of our caucuses and regions and building a whip operation that is reflective of the diversity of our caucus and that empowers a new generation of members to have a voice in our legislative process.”

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516

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Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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