Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond is expected to join President-elect Joe Biden’s White House staff in a senior role, departing the New Orleans-area House of Representatives seat he has held since 2011, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
Richmond, the 47-year-old former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, was a co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign and a close ally during the 2020 race. He is now set to become perhaps the highest-ranking Black aide to the President-elect.
A confidant, early supporter and loyal surrogate during the campaign, Richmond provides a direct line to House Democratic leadership, which has come under fire from its own caucus after an election that saw its majority thinned and set off recriminations between moderate members and outspoken progressives. Democrats have been anxious about the prospect of House members leaving to join the administration and potentially losing those seats to Republicans, but Richmond’s district is deep blue and news of his departure has already set off a scramble among state Democrats eager to fill it.
Richmond is set to hold a news conference on Tuesday morning in New Orleans. CNN previously reported Richmond was thought to be under consideration for several roles in the West Wing.
South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the influential congressman whose endorsement helped Biden win the South Carolina primary and revive his campaign, said last month he would like to see Biden pick Richmond for a Cabinet position.
“If not in the Cabinet, certainly in the administration somewhere. I think Cedric has one of the best political minds that I’ve ever encountered. …There are a lot of young people like that that need to be involved,” Clyburn told Washington Post Live.
Richmond is currently the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. He is a member of the New Democrat Coalition and serves as the House Democratic assistant to the majority whip.
Biden is expected to announce who will serve in top roles in his administration in the coming days and weeks. His first personnel decision was to tap Ron Klain to be his incoming chief of staff last week. Jen O’Malley Dillon will join Biden’s incoming administration as a deputy White House chief of staff, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN on Monday.
CNN has reached out to Richmond’s congressional office and the Biden transition team for comment.
This story has been updated with additional information on Monday.