California Representative Linda Sanchez made history on Nov. 30 as the first woman of color elected in House Leadership as vice chair of the Democratic Caucus.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, it was a very close race; Sanchez won in a 98-96 vote, running against California Representative and Mills alumna Barbara Lee. According to the House of Representatives website, as part of the Democratic Caucus, Sanchez will help communicate the party’s message to its members by assisting the House Democratic caucus chairman Xavier Becerra in directing daily operations of the caucus.
“Every day I will do everything I can to strengthen our Democratic Caucus and put us in the strongest position. Together with Leader Nancy Pelosi, Whip Steny Hoyer, Assistant Leader James Clyburn and Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley, House Democrats will fight for an agenda to help every working family achieve their American Dream,” Sanchez said in a press release in response to receiving the position.
Regardless of the Nov. 30 election’s outcome, the results were destined to make history as Lee would have also been the first woman of color to hold the vice chair of the Democratic Caucus position.
As the first Latina to hold this position, Sanchez’s win comes in a timely fashion with the recent rise in racially fueled hate crimes following the presidential election of Donald Trump. If Lee were to have won, she would have been the first African American as vice caucus. According to the Los Angeles Times, Lee was “billing herself as a stalwart” who would have acted as a guard for “Democrats’ lines in the sand” with a Republican President-elect who will try to cross them.
“I’m deeply humbled and grateful for all the support that I’ve received in my campaign to serve as the next Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus. I’d like to congratulate Congresswoman Linda Sánchez on her election to this position. I look forward to working with her to unite our caucus and fight for American families,” Lee said in a press release following the results.