U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) will have a senior position when Democrats take over the House of Representatives next month.
The fourth-term congressman will serve as one of eight chief deputy whips in the 116th Congress, joining Senior Chief Deputy Whips John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) who report to House Majority Whip-elect James Clyburn (D-S.C.), according to a statement from Clyburn’s office.
The whips are responsible for rallying caucus members not just for votes, but also pushing agenda items and policies.
“Typically, being in the majority, this position becomes significantly more important because it’s not just a matter of communicating between members but also helping determine the policies we want to push forward,” Kildee told MLive.
Kildee, who in 2012 succeeded his uncle, now-former U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Flint), saw his stature rise with the onset of the Flint water crisis. The younger Kildee has been an outspoken advocate for labor and LGBTQ issues. He was considered an early frontrunner for the 2018 Michigan Democratic gubernatorial nomination, before choosing to remain in the House. Kildee told Inside Michigan Politics in 2017 that he wanted to pursue a leadership post in Congress, which he’s now achieved.
Democrats needed a net gain of 23 seats in last month’s midterm elections to win the majority and have so far won 39 seats, according to the Washington Post. Current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to regain the speakership in a vote next month.