Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond is leaving Congress for a prominent position in President-elect Joe Biden’s White House, said two politically-connected sources in Louisiana who have spoken to Richmond recently. The congressman is expected to discuss his resignation at a press conference he’s called about the “future of the 2nd Congressional District seat” Tuesday morning in New Orleans.
Richmond, 47, is the only Democrat serving in Louisiana’s congressional delegation. He has held elected office for most of his adult life.
Richmond has represented the 2nd congressional district, which stretches from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, since 2011. Prior to that, he served in the Louisiana Legislature as a New Orleans state representative for 11 years.
He became a national co-chairman in the Biden campaign in 2019, when the Democratic field of presidential candidates was still crowded. Biden was expected to offer Richmond a position in his administration if the former vice president won the presidential election.
The loss of Richmond means Louisiana will likely lose a significant amount of seniority in Congress – a place where it matters greatly. He is the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and is the assistant to House Majority Whip, James Clyburn of South Carolina.
Richmond is the second-longest serving member of Congress from Louisiana. Only House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican who represents the New Orleans suburbs, has been on Capitol Hill for more years. More than a third of the delegation has only taken office since 2016. U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, is also retiring this year, meaning that seat will be going to a freshman congressman.
Even with Richmond departing, there’s very little danger of the Democrats losing the 2nd congressional district. The seat is predominantly Democratic and encompasses every large Black population center between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Those who are considered potential candidates to replace Richmond include New Orleans City Councilwoman Helena Moreno, Louisiana Senate Democratic Caucus chairman Troy Carter, former congressman and current state Sen. Cleo Fields, Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere and former St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom.
Correction: This article originally said Richmond was Louisiana’s longest-serving member of Congress. Scalise is actually the longest-serving member of Congress from the state.
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