Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) has thrown her hat into the ring for ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) has stepped away from that post in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, but has challenged those allegations and has not, as of yet, resigned that post.
But Lofgren was not waiting for an official exit, announcing her intention to seek the post at a Democratic caucus meeting.
“Whenever an official vacancy at the top Democratic position of the Judiciary Committee may occur in accordance with Caucus Rules," Lofgren said Wednesday (Nov. 29), "I will put my credentials forward for my colleagues’ consideration."
Lofgren is not the next in line in seniority (that would be Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, Who has been named acting ranking member), but seniority is not the only factor, which she pointed out.
"I am confident that, as a 23-year veteran of the Committee with nearly 9 years of prior staff service, I fully meet all the criteria for the position as outlined in Caucus Rule 21," she said. "That rule states that, in selecting a successor to a Ranking Member vacancy, the Democratic Caucus 'shall consider all relevant factors, including merit, length of service on the committee and degree of commitment to the Democratic agenda, and the diversity of the Caucus,' and that the top Committee position “need not necessarily follow seniority," she said.
Related: Report: Rep. Conyers Settled Sexual Harassment Complaints