Two senior Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee declared their interest Thursday in leading the panel after Chairman Collin C. Peterson lost his reelection bid.
Subcommittee chairmen David Scott of Georgia and Jim Costa of California are vying for the chairman’s gavel. A third expected contender, Ohio Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, had not announced her plans as of Thursday. Their candidacies depend on Democrats keeping the majority, as expected, as race winners continue to be called.
The Senate Agriculture Committee will also be getting a new chairperson regardless of which party is in the majority because Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is retiring at the end of this Congress.
Scott is chairman of the Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit, while Costa is chairman of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.
Scott’s bid would give the House Agriculture Committee its first African American chairman if he succeeds.
Scott issued a statement highlighting his work on the committee since 2003 and his family’s roots in agriculture in a segregated South. He said there is a need to ensure “that racial justice and economic equality is brought forth in our farming industry.”
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