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Hinojosa Drops Out of Vice Chairmanship Race

After just two weeks in the race, Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (Texas) withdrew Thursday from the Democratic Caucus vice chairmanship contest, shrinking the pool of candidates to three.

Hinojosa, a five-term Member, cited his commitments to his district as the reason for ending the short-lived bid. Remaining in the hunt are Reps. Joe Crowley (N.Y.), John Larson (Conn.) and Jan Schakowsky (Ill.).

“After thoughtful consideration, I have decided to no longer seek the Vice-Chairmanship position with the Democratic Caucus,” Hinojosa said in a statement. “This decision did not come easily, but after weighing all the options, I realized that at this time, I need to focus more on providing outstanding representation and constituent services for my Congressional District.”

Hinojosa, a later entry into the vice chairmanship race, was viewed as a long-shot candidate. His exit may prompt a bid by another Hispanic member of the Caucus. Latino lawmakers were pressing for one of their members to run for the seat to ensure they continue hold a leadership post.

Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez (N.J.) is prevented from seeking another term in his current position and would leave a Hispanics void in leadership. He could leave before 2007, however, if a series of events prompt him to leave the House for the Senate.

Hinojosa said the recent redistricting in Texas means he must spend more time getting to know his new constituent base. He vowed to continue to work on behalf of the Democratic Caucus and its members.

“I will continue, as I have always done throughout my four terms in Congress, to champion for Democratic causes and to help elect Democrats to office,” he said. “I want to thank my colleagues who offered their initial support to my campaign, and I look forward to meeting with the remaining candidates.”

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