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Colorado’s Joe Negse wins new leadership role in next Congress

Colorado Rep. Joe Negse has moved up the leadership ladder in the Democratic House of Representatives.

He was elected chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), the communications arm of the House of Representatives, in the 118th Congress.

Lafayette Democrat said he was honored to be elected and excited about the road ahead.

“The messaging division plays a very important role in the House Democratic caucuses because it ultimately helps us develop and spread our caucuses. [a] It’s a message that resonates with the American people.”

Neguse has been a member of the Democratic leadership team since his first day in office. First at the 116th Congress as Co-Freshman Representative and then at the 117th Congress he was Co-Chair of the DPCC.

Now Neguse will be in the higher echelons of leadership. He is the highest-ranking member of Colorado’s House leadership in recent years, running as an independent for the so-called “Chair of Speakers” job and being elected “by applause.”

Kaitlyn Kim/CPR News
Rep. Joe Negse received congratulations from his colleagues after being elected Speaker of the 118th Congress or Democratic Policy and Communications Committee on Dec. 1, 2022.

The 118th Congress will welcome a new generation of leaders to House Democrats. The caucus elected New York State Representative Hakeem Jeffries as its leader, making him the minority leader.

Massachusetts Rep. Catherine Clarke was elected to the House, and California Rep. Pete Aguilar was elected chairman of the Democratic Caucus.

Neguse said having someone from the western Rocky Mountains on the leadership table was important to him and one of the reasons he ran for office.

“I think our state has a unique entrepreneurial spirit, and that I intend to bring to my role as chairman of the DPCC,” he said.

He added that his leadership role would ensure focus on issues specific to the region.

“For example, the unprecedented droughts we are experiencing, increased wildfires, and other climate-fuelled disasters,” he said. “And he, who lives in the western Rocky Mountains, makes sure there are voices on the table that support the 45 million Americans affected by these various issues. I think it’s important.”

One of the older generation members of the House Democratic leadership will also stay. South Carolina Representative James Cliburn will be the assistant leader.

That decision led to several reshufflings, including Neguse. The caucuses decided to revert the so-called chair positions of the chair seats within the DPCC to Neguse.

Neguse said he felt he was best positioned to support House Democrats by leading the messaging division, given the stakes ahead.

“Messaging is going to be a very important factor for the success of the 118th Games,” said Neguse. “The Republican majority has a very small majority, and I think it plays a dominant role in our ability to effectively communicate our work to the American public, and ultimately why it matters, in our ability to regain a majority. [in 2024]”

The last Coloradan nominee for Supreme Leader in the House was Democratic Rep. Diana Deggett. In November 2018, she announced that she would challenge Cliburn for her position at Whip, the 116th Congress’s chief voting counter, but she eventually withdrew from the race.

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