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Larson Enters Caucus Chairman Race

With Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) now on his way to the White House, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) is officially seeking to replace him as the No. 4 House Democratic leader.

Emanuel earlier today accepted President-elect Obama’s offer to serve as his chief of staff, meaning the sharp-elbowed Chicagoan is quitting his Caucus chairman post in House Democratic hierarchy. Larson, now vice chairman, was already eyeing a promotion.

In a statement, Larson congratulated Emanuel and announced he is throwing his hat in to succeed him.

“To earn the respect of our diverse and talented Caucus you have to listen,” Larson said in his statement. “I intend to lead the Caucus with a bottom up focus on member services, policy and strategy. I am proud to have a number of commitments from a wide spectrum of members and a team of surrogate ready to work on my behalf.”

Larson is expected to face a challenge from Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), head of the party’s campaign arm. It is not yet clear who else, if anyone, will make the race, though Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.) is thought to be eyeing it.

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