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Rep. Becerra to Resign, Become California AG

Xavier Becerra / AP
• December 1, 2016 1:04 pm

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Rep. Xavier Becerra (D., Calif.) announced on Thursday that he is resigning his seat in Congress to become the next attorney general of California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Becerra currently serves as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and will be succeeded by Rep. Joseph Crowley (D., N.Y.), who was elected to the position on Wednesday. Becerra was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D.) nominated Becerra to the post that became vacant after incumbent Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Becerra released a statement when he accepted Brown's nomination.

"Governor Brown has presented me with an opportunity I cannot refuse–to serve as attorney general of my home state," Becerra said. "As a former deputy attorney general, I relished the chance to be our state's chief law enforcement officer to protect consumers, advance criminal justice reform, and, of course, keep our families safe."

The announcement comes one day after House Democrats held their delayed leadership elections on Wednesday. Sitting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) was challenged by Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio) for the role. Pelosi beat Ryan 134-63 to retain her position. Many Democrats have been critical of Pelosi's leadership due to sustained losses in elections during her tenure.

Many observers thought Becerra was being prepared to eventually succeed Pelosi as the top Democrat in the House. That plan may have been put into jeopardy as one of Ryan's top criticisms of the current Democratic leadership has been that it became too "coastal" while ignoring working class voters in Middle America. Another California lawmaker in charge of the Democratic caucus may not go over well after Pelosi leaves her post.

Published under: California