VIDEO: Rep. Cedric Richmond announces he is leaving Congress for role at White House

Updated: Nov. 17, 2020 at 10:16 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Louisiana Representative Cedric Richmond announced Tuesday that he is vacating his 2nd District Congressional seat to join President-elect Joe Biden’s administration as Senior Adviser to the President and White House Public Engagement Director.

“This is a sad day for me to announce that I’m leaving something I fought so hard to get. I’m not leaving the people of Louisiana. I am New Orleans through and through,” he said.

Richmond says being in the White House will help Louisiana by talking with cabinet secretaries.

"Being able, I believe, to advocate to cabinet secretaries will be very important. For example, I will fight for the National Flood Insurance Program to make sure it not only remains affordable, but accessible. I get to take my Louisiana experience with me.”

When Richmond leaves his seat, it will stay open until Governor Edwards schedules a special election.

As one of the few co-chairs on the Joe Biden campaign, several political and election analysts believed congressman Cedric Richmond would be rewarded if Biden won the presidency.

“This announcement has the makings of the worst kept secret in America as the co-chair of president elect Biden’s campaign is likely getting a senior appointment in the Biden administration,” said Sherman.

On the Biden campaign trail, Richmond could be seen not too far behind.

FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman says that was demonstrative of the trust Biden put in the congressman.

“All eyes are in two types of positions one would be a cabinet post those are the secretaries and attorney general. The other would be a senior adviser to the president something in the White House on president elect Biden’s political team,” said Sherman.

“Unlike the United States senate where the governor would simply appoint an interim senator until the next election cycle the house of representatives works very differently,” said Robert Collins, Ph.d.

Collins says considering the financial cost of a special election, it will likely fall on one that’s already on the calendar.

“The governor can call it at any time, however the tradition and the norm is for the governor simply to wait until the next round of local or municipal elections within the state of Louisiana will be March 21 because that’s the most cost-effective way to do it,” said Collins.

Both men agreeing that Richmond’s move to the White House is an obvious one, and one that will help Louisianans.

“Having such a senior official from the islands in the Biden administration mean unbelievable amount of attention and help and potentially funding coming to metro New Orleans area,” said Sherman.

Collins says there will be several wanting to run to replace Richmond, he named some state legislators and city council people but believes it will likely be a Democrat who wins the office.

New Orleans City Council member Helena Moreno issued a statement congratulating Richmond on his transition to the White House:

"I’d like to thank Congressman Cedric Richmond for his exceptional and ongoing service to our state and our country. While he will be missed as our representative to the US Congress, I know his new position will afford an even greater opportunity to serve our communities and help build a stronger nation for us all.

Throughout his career in public service, he’s held true to his devotion to lifting up our community’s most vulnerable and building coalitions with leaders across the state and nation to stand up for Louisiana. It has been a pleasure working alongside him to advance causes that improve the lives of New Orleanians and Louisianians, including bold criminal justice reform, critical infrastructure investment, and the preservation and expansion of civil rights. These fights have never been easy, but his dedication and collaborative approach delivered results.

We are so grateful he will have the opportunity to represent us in President-elect Biden’s administration and to work alongside our extraordinary Vice-President Kamala Harris to build our country back better. I know he will make their team even stronger and change the course of our nation towards hope and progress.

Congressman Steve Scalise said, “I am lucky to count Cedric as a dear friend, and, despite our political differences, I have always enjoyed working with him on issues important to Louisiana, from our time together in the State House to Congress. I’ll miss having him as a colleague here in the House, but I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his successful career.”

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