The official reason for Rep. Linda Sanchez’s campaigns swing through New Jersey today was to help flip Republican congressional seats, but the underlying motive was her campaign for House Democratic Caucus Chair.
Sanchez, a 49-year-old congresswoman from California, said she was not seeking votes today while stumping for Democrats Mikie Sherrill and Tom Malinowski, but instead focusing on pickup up enough seats to give Democrats a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“On the leadership race, I continue to talk to people, but everybody’s focusing on elections right now,” Sanchez told the New Jersey Globe.
Sanchez headlined a Sherrill roundtable for Hispanic business leaders this morning in Morristown, but that wasn’t enough to pick up a commitment of support from the former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor who is trying to pick up the House seat being vacated by Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen.
“I’ll have to see who else is running and who wants to be strongest for Jersey,” Sherrill said.
Sanchez, is seeking to succeed Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-New York), who lost the Democratic primary in June. Her only announced opponent is Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Texas), setting up a rematch of a 2016 contest for caucus vice chair that resulted in a two-vote margin for Sanchez.
Reps. Adam Schiff (D-California) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) are also reportedly mulling a bid for caucus chair.
Sherrill has already announced that she would not support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for Democratic leader if she wins her race against Republican Jay Webber. Malinowski, who is challenging five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) in the 7th district, has said he will stay out of any leadership fights until after the November election.