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DeGette Not Running For Vice Chair

The post-election leadership field is solidifying for the Democrats after Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen decided over the weekend to chair the party's campaign arm for another term.

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette took her name out of consideration for the vice chairmanship of the Democratic Caucus on Monday, opting instead to throw her support behind California Rep. Xavier Becerra.

Van Hollen complicated things by deciding to stay on as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He keeps the job for two more years in exchange for the additional title of special assistant to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But one lawmaker with two titles limits the openings for ambitious colleagues.

Now, other Democrats who had considered a leadership bid must decide whether to challenge Connecticut Rep. John B. Larson for the post of Caucus chairman or California Rep. Xavier Becerra for the vice chair post. They remain the only announced candidates for either position.

On Monday, DeGette spokesman Kristofer Eisenla said, "After careful consideration, Congresswoman DeGette has decided she can best serve the Caucus by focusing on her duties as Chief Deputy Whip. With Rep. (Rahm) Emanuel’s (D-Ill.) departure and an expanded majority in the House, her skills will be best utilized in whipping. She will be supporting Xavier Becerra for Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus."

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