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May 21, 2019

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries wins tight race to become House Democratic caucus chairman

November 28, 2018
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) was elected chairman of the House Democratic Caucus for the 116th Congress. Jeffries defeated Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) both prominent members of the Congressional Black Caucus. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries was elected Democratic caucus chairman on Wednesday, launching him into the party’s No. 5 spot when Dems take over House leadership in January.

In a 123-113 vote, Jeffries defeated veteran Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a fellow member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The 48-year-old Brooklyn native is considered a rising star among House Democrats after being elected to a fourth term in Congress. He currently serves a co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, which works on the party’s messaging.

Lee, 72, has served in Congress for two decades and is considered one of the most liberal members of the Democratic party.

The caucus position opened up after Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) lost his seat to progressive Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a surprise primary upset.

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