rep-aguilar-vice-chair California Rep. Pete Aguilar just got elected to serve as the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
Screenshot via Facebook/@reppeteaguilar

“I’m grateful for the trust my colleagues have put in me to lead during such a critical time for our Caucus and our country,” Rep. Pete Aguilar said.

California Rep. Pete Aguilar just got elected to serve as the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. As of Nov. 20, Aguilar’s appointment makes him the highest-ranking Latino on Capitol Hill.

The Hispanic Caucus congratulated the representative currently serving Redlands in California, tweeting, “Aguilar is a proven leader and will represent our communities.” 

According to RollCall, Rep. Aguilar won the election by beating Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly with a vote of 148-82. But there are no ill feelings between the two Democrats. Rep. Kelly congratulated Rep. Aguilar on Twitter, saying, “I look forward to working with you as we undo four years of damage done by the Trump Administration.”

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After his victory, Rep. Aguilar issued the following statement:

“I’m grateful for the trust my colleagues have put in me to lead during such a critical time for our Caucus and our country. I’m also grateful for the friendship of my colleague Rep. Robin Kelly, who will continue to be a trailblazer and respected leader in our Caucus.” 

He added, “My top priority as a member of this leadership team will be to help unite our Caucus to meet the most pressing needs of the communities we represent, including providing much-needed resources to help the American people navigate the coronavirus crisis. Under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi and the Biden-Harris Administration, House Democrats will work together to overcome the challenges facing our nation. I am honored to serve alongside Chairman Jeffries to help deliver results for the American people, and I look forward to getting to work.”

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As the new Biden administration continues to make appointments to the White House staff and cabinet, Latino leaders urge that he hire Latinos. The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) sent a letter to the Biden transition team asking for Latino representation in 2021. 

“Hispanics are close to 20% of Americans, but we have never been equitably represented in the Cabinet or other appointments,” NHLA said in the letter. “Our Nation’s prosperity and well-being depend on our ability to address the full array of issues affecting all Americans, including Latino communities. Without the expertise and experience Latinos bring to our Nation’s governance, America’s government will miss an opportunity to effectively develop and implement sound policies on the issues affecting all Americans.”

Rep. Aguilar will take over the seat previously held by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), who was elected assistant speaker on Nov. 18. In 2018, Rep. Aguilar ran for the same seat but lost.