Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced today that he won’t seek reelection next year, leaving both his seat and position as Senate Minority leader open.
Many have thrown their support behind Sen.Charles Schumer (D-New York), who’s currently the third most powerful Democrat in the Senate, but others are championing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), a progressive lawmaker.
Democracy for America (DFA) has pushed for Warren to run for president, but said if she declines the position, they’ll back her for Sen. Reid’s job.
“There are real concerns about whether Chuck Schumer should be the frontrunner for leadership in the Senate among progressives,” DFA spokesman Neil Sroka told The Hill. “The Wall Street wing of the party, that Chuck has been close to, is dying, and the Warren wing is rising. So if Sen. Warren chooses not to run for president … she should run for leader of the Senate. She’d make a great leader.”
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The Progressive Change Campaign Committee agreed that the race for the Senate Minority seat wouldn’t be straightforward. “Her lifetime of fighting for the little guy against Wall Street power … shows she can think big, wage tough fights against powerful interests, and win key votes in the Senate,” the PCCC said in a statement. “She's the definition of a leader. … There will likely not be a coronation to replace Harry Reid as Senate Democratic Leader, and Elizabeth Warren is right up there with others as someone who would be taken very seriously."
Warren’s office has said she won’t seek the position, but both the DFA and the PCCC said her recent amendment to expand Social Security, which was backed by 42 Senate Democrats, was proof of her potential to lead.
“Nearly the entirety of the Democratic caucus voted to expand Social Security benefits last night,” Sroka said. “She’s shown the ability to lead in the caucus and there’s no doubt she could be a real force for the party.”