Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana will enter the White House of President-elect Joe Biden, departing the seat of the New Orleans-area House of Representatives he has occupied since 2011. Richmond will serve as the President’s senior advisor and head of the Office of Public Engagement at the White House. A co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign and a close ally during the 2020 election was the 47-year-old former Congressional Black Caucus chairman. He is now expected to become the president-highest-ranking elect’s black aide.
At the same time that the transition team revealed other top White House positions, Richmond talked about his new role Tuesday. The congressman said he would resign from his seat before Biden’s inauguration on the 20th of January.
And so this new position will allow me to give the President advice when he needs it and maybe when he doesn’t want it sometimes,” he said.”
Cedric Richmond, a confident, early supporter and loyal surrogate throughout the campaign, offers a direct line to the Democratic leadership of the House, which after an election that saw its majority thin and set off recriminations between moderate members and vocal progressives, has come under fire from its own caucus. Democrats were worried about the possibility of House members leaving to join the administration and probably costing Republicans those seats, but the district of Richmond is deep blue and news of his departure has already set off a scramble among state Democrats eager to fill it.
Calling it one of his life’s “hardest choices,” Richmond said I’m not leaving the people of Louisiana. I’m not leaving the people of the second Congressional District. I’m through and through New Orleans. I’m bleeding black and gold.”
Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the powerful congressman whose endorsement helped Biden win the South Carolina primary and revive his campaign, said he wanted to see Biden pick Richmond for a place in the Cabinet last month.
Certainly somewhere in the government, if not in the Cabinet. I think Cedric is one of the best political minds I’ve ever seen. … There are a lot of young people like that who need to be involved,” Clyburn told Washington Post Live. “There are a lot of young people like that.
Cedric Richmond is currently the chairman of the Black Caucus Base of Congress, and serves on the Ways and Means Committee of the House. He is a member of the New Democrat Alliance and serves as the majority whip’s House Democratic assistant.
In the coming days and weeks, Biden is expected to reveal who will be serving in top positions in his administration. His first decision on personnel was to tap Ron Klain last week to be his incoming chief of staff.
On Tuesday, the Biden campaign named several other senior White House staff members, including: Mike Donilon, Biden campaign chief strategist; Steve Ricchetti, Biden campaign chairman; Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden campaign manager for the presidential campaign; Dana Remus, Biden campaign general counsel; Julie Rodriguez, Biden campaign deputy campaign manager; and Annie Tomasini, Biiden campaign deputy campaign manager; Members of the soon-to-be office of First Lady Jill Biden have also been revealed.