Clyburn to run for No. 2 in House Dem leadership

WASHINGTON, DC (WIS) - Democratic Rep. James Clyburn says he's seeking the No. 2 job in the House Democratic leadership, setting up a possible showdown with the current second in command, Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

Clyburn of South Carolina made the announcement in a letter to his colleagues on Friday. He says the Democratic caucus is at a crossroads and he is a proven leader.

"We gave a tax cut to 95 percent of the American people and closed tax loopholes that rewarded companies that send jobs overseas," said Clyburn. "We fulfilled the century-long dream of making access to quality health care a fundamental right. We made a college education more affordable. We ended Wall Street abuses, established a credit card holders "Bill of Rights," and saw statutory PAYGO signed into law."

As Majority Whip, Clyburn was the House's third-ranking member. But after House Democrats suffered some 60 losses in Tuesday's election and lost their majority, Rep. Nancy Pelosi will no longer be Speaker of the House. "While we won the inside game—racking up one legislative victory after another—we lost the outside game," said Clyburn.

The Democrats' demotion leaves two leadership spots for three Democratic leaders: Pelosi, who intends to run for Minority Leader; Hoyer, who became Majority Leader under Pelosi after serving as Minority Whip; and Clyburn, who seeks to retain his position as Whip.

Clyburn is currently the House's highest ranking African-American.

Copyright 2010 by WIS. All Rights Reserved. AP contributed to this report.