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Crowley, Meek Won't Run For Democratic Caucus Vice Chair

Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.) won't run for vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus and will instead support Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), a Democratic aide tells Politico's Patrick O'Connor.

Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), another potential contender for the vice-chairman post, will also pass up a run for the office.

The decision by Crowley and Meek clears the field for Becerra, although Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the job.

Becerra is close to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), serving as an "Assistant to the Speaker" in the 110th Congress.

But with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) awarded that position as part of his deal to run the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for another two years, Pelosi has been seeking a way to keep Becerra at the leadership table.

Van Hollen, for his part, decided not to make a run at the Caucus chair post, which means Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) will run unopposed. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) was Caucus chairman but has announced he is leaving Congress to become White House chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama.

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