Richmond pledges to advocate for Louisiana in West Wing

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond is leaving the House after 10 years for a role as a White House adviser when President-elect Joe Biden takes office—a role he says will allow him to help his native New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and other Southern states.

Richmond, 47, is the only Democrat and only Black member of Louisiana’s congressional delegation. He will be a senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He’s expected to engage with Congress and focus on the Black community and other minority groups.

He formally announced that he was taking the position at a news conference Tuesday in New Orleans. He said he will step down from his congressional post in January. Having just been reelected to a sixth term, he did not immediately weigh in on who his successor should be.

“I will play an active role,” he said when asked about the race. “I will look at all the candidates that are running.”

Exactly when the election to succeed him will take place was not immediately clear.

“I will consult with Congressman Richmond about the timing of his resignation from Congress and with the secretary of state and other leaders in his district about the best time for a special election to fill his seat when it is vacant,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement Tuesday congratulating Richmond.  

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, also released a statement saying, “Cedric’s departure is going to create a void in our delegation, and I consider him a good friend. Pending election results, Cedric could land a spot in the West Wing with extreme proximity to the Oval Office. This is incredible for Louisiana and our priorities should it pan out. While our voting records differ, it has been clear that he does what he believes is best for the people he represents.”  

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