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Rep. Diana DeGette to run for House Democratic whip, challenging James Clyburn
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), left, speaks at a Washington Post Live event. (Andre Chung for The Washington Post)

Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.) announced Wednesday that she is running for House Democratic whip, challenging Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.) for the No. 3 spot in House Democratic leadership.

“Our return to the majority was powered by women voters across the country, and we need to repay their trust by adding women to Democrats’ leadership team,” DeGette said in a statement announcing her bid. “As we add even more women to our ranks in Congress — largely because of Democratic candidates — our caucus should reflect this strength, including at the leadership table.”

Congress returns to Washington next week for its lame-duck session, but Democrats are not expected to hold their internal leadership elections until after Thanksgiving.

DeGette has served seven terms as House Democrats’ chief deputy whip. Clyburn, meanwhile, currently serves assistant Democratic leader, the title given to the No. 3 House Democratic spot when the party is in the minority.

The South Carolina Democrat, who previously served as House majority whip from 2007-2011, said Wednesday that he will formally announce his candidacy for the position soon.

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Democrats took the House, Republicans held the Senate, and key races around the country were still too close to call.

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