Pelosi broadens leadership team in fight to retain post


WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi moved Friday to broaden her leadership team by naming three junior lawmakers to chair the party’s messaging arm.

Pelosi also named two-term California colleague Eric Swalwell to co-chair the panel responsible for making committee assignments.

The announcement comes days before a leadership election in which Pelosi is being challenged by Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan for the party post she has held since 2002.

Pelosi is likely to retain her post, but Friday’s moves come amid restiveness in the Democratic caucus, especially among junior members, after the elections.

“This team of new and experienced leaders is dedicated to working with their entire caucus to make the future better for the American people,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The core of Pelosi’s leadership team will remain in place, including 77-year-old Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, 76. Elderly Democrats also remain atop several important committees.

Pelosi has named Illinois’ Cheri Bustos, New York’s Hakeem Jeffries and Pennsylvania’s Matt Cartwright to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, noting they would take a role in fighting GOP proposals to cut Medicare. They would replace Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., who is retiring.

Pelosi also is retaining Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., as chairman of the campaign and fundraising arm for House Democrats. Rep. John Yarmouth will replace Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., as the top Democrat on the Budget Committee.

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