Majority of Freshman Class Supports Hoyer for Majority Leader

For Immediate Release:

November 10, 2006

Contact:

Dear Colleague:

Please find attached a Roll Call story regarding a letter signed by 21 Members of our incoming Freshman Class who are now publicly supporting the candidacy of our colleague Steny Hoyer of Maryland for the position of Majority Leader.  We know there are other Members of the incoming Freshman Class who have committed their support to Steny, but who have chosen not to do so publicly.

Given Steny’s broad range of assistance to these Members-Elect, it is not surprising that they have chosen to support him.  We believe Nancy and Steny have done a terrific job unifying our Caucus and helping us regain the Majority.  At our organizational meeting next Thursday, November 16, we hope you will support Steny as our new Majority Leader.

Sincerely,

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ 

CHRIS VAN HOLLEN

Click here for full text of letter.

Roll Call

Majority of Incoming Freshmen Endorse Hoyer

Friday, Nov. 10; 2:23 pm

More than half of the incoming Democratic freshman lawmakers are expected to endorse House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) bid for Majority Leader in a letter to be issued Friday afternoon.

According to the letter, 21 of the 41 Democrats who definitely will be coming to the House next year have offered their support to Hoyer, who is competing with Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) for the No. 2 leadership post in the 110th Congress.

“Having gone through this exciting and tough campaign season just like you, we know how difficult it was to achieve victory. And now that we have won our races, we must turn our attention to governing,” the letter states. “In addition to setting up our Washington and District offices ... among the first — and most important — decisions each of us will have to make is whom to support for our Democratic Majority Leader.”

The letter is signed by Reps.-elect Baron Hill (Ind.), Nick Lampson (Texas), Albio Sires (N.J.), Michael Arcuri (N.Y.), Nancy Boyda (Kan.), Bruce Braley (Iowa), Kathy Castor (Fla.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Phil Hare (Ill.), Paul Hodes (N.H.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), Ron Klein (Fla.), Tim Mahoney (Fla.), Harry Mitchell (Ariz.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.), John Sarbanes (Md.), Heath Shuler (N.C.) and John Yarmuth (Ky.).

Although Hoyer said Wednesday he does not intend to release lists of endorsements, a tactic that he has used in previous leadership contests, his office did distribute a press release Wednesday promoting a separate letter signed by several senior lawmakers in support of his bid.

Murtha, the ranking member of the Appropriations subcommittee on Defense, has similarly distributed letters from fellow lawmakers this week. The Pennsylvanian’s office did not return a telephone call seeking comment for this article.

Both Hoyer and have Murtha have asserted in interviews this week that they have the necessary votes to win the leadership post. House Democrats are scheduled to hold leadership elections Thursday.

— Jennifer Yachnin  

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